Former Federal Minister for Climate Change Sherry Rehman on Wednesday warned that Pakistan will face a tougher time in the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) upcoming review.
She said this during a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Finance held in Islamabad today. The meeting chaired by chaired by Senator Saleem Mandviwalla met to discuss the pressing economic concerns facing Pakistan.
Caretaker Finance Minister Dr Shamshad Akhtar, who was supposed to brief the committee on the current economic situation of the country especially the rise in inflation and petrol prices remained absent from the meeting. Several committee members voiced their displeasure at the minister’s non-participation.
Committee member Mohsin Aziz suggested postponing the meeting due to the absence of the finance minister. Aziz lamented that today agenda was very important, but the finance minister did not ensure her presence.
Sherry Rehman also expressed disappointment and concern over the finance minister’s absence. She drew attention to the alarming $4.5 billion gap in Pakistan’s external financing and reports of a Rs. 1 trillion increase in the fiscal deficit. She warned of potential difficulties in the upcoming economic review with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and highlighted the worsening crisis.
She also pointed out the significant increase in inflation, which has become a pressing issue for the nation.
Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir Chaudhry Anwarul Haq also attended the meeting and raised concerns regarding the financial problems faced by Azad Kashmir. Sharing her concern, Senator Saadia Abbasi emphasized that Azad Kashmir’s financial problems should be addressed by reducing wasteful expenditure.
The committee decided to establish a sub-committee to resolve the financial problems of Azad Kashmir. This sub-committee will review all issues related to Azad Kashmir’s budget and hydel projects, with invitations extended to all stakeholders including the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Energy.