IMF or Not?


IMF or Not?

The Aesop fable goes like this: Two frogs while walking their way notice the enchanting sparkles of water in a well. One says why not to plunge inside and enjoy the cool comfort of the water, The other says what would happen, and how could they manage to come out if the level of the water of the well falls out and it dries up?
This is about fear mongering like cowards who are not sure of themselves. Where as people like the Burmese Nobelist freedom fighter lady Aung Suui Kyi says, ‘Fredom from fear’ is the answer for a fighter who struggles against odds and disasters. Look, the loans from the agencies like the IMF and others are not to be taken as lunches for free. Especially knowing as you do that you are incurring debt to pay debt with compounding interest; and that the money wouldn’t be utilized for infrastructure development, or for providing liquidity to the market place to boost up employment opportunities, or for raising the consumer confidence.
Especially when your past performance is chiding about mismanagement, corruption, tax evasions on large scale and over invoicing/under invoicing etc.
It is business as usual. The lender has a right to ascertain your credit worthiness, the credit ratings assessed by three of the most powerful rating agencies of the world and the ground realities existing at home.



Amir Dewani

A blogger for The News/Geo blogs


  • M.Saeed

    Structural Adjustment Program (SAP) being enforced by IMF is intended to apply it literally upon the hapless Pakistanis, sapping every element of strenght from their life. We must resist IMF even if we have to limit our expenses by eating once a day!

    After all, when would we benefit from our life-long training for such times under one of the basic five pillars of our FATH ,i.e. FASTING?

    • Anonymous

      It is easier said than done. For a normal person, rich or poor, three times eating is necessary for health. Fasting is not all about eating. It is about ‘Ibadat’, ‘Parhez’ and sanctity of soul purification. As for the harsh SAP conditionalities, yes it is negotiable, but for negotiations you have to be equal to look into the eyes of each other. Otherwise, we have heard people in the past pledging to go eating grass than go borrowing, or breaking the ‘Kashkol;but how many of them have done that practically?

      • M.Saeed

        Then, what you say about Hikmat in the Pillars of Islam and the logic of calling our Holy Qur’an the “Qur’an Al-Hakeem”???

    • Anonymous

      Saeed Sb

      The nukes were to funded by the nation eating grass too. Seeing scenes of 20 somethings, whose parents did not know what an electric fan was, going on a rampage destroying infrastructure, does nt povide much hope that people will follow your advice.

      To top it all people who can afford to buy a small car, think of themselves as poor in Pakistani context and expect zero import duties on the consumer items the think are an absolute necessity, are already out on the streets because GST went up 1%. Everyone wants the comforts but not willing to pay te taxes to get away from the IMF.

      Ramadhan is round the corner and oppulence in food expenditures in the cities will ve embarrassing in the context of what fasting is supposed to be about. Haathi ke dant kganey ke aur – dikhaney ke aur!

      • M.Saeed

        Qalim Sb.
        My second sentence is the result of my first and qualified only by a premise; “After all” that, perhaps you failed to notice in a hurry.

        • Anonymous

          Saeed Sb

          Your posts are always read with a clm and collected mind – my reply was a general observation with an attempt to reinforce your point – unfortunately it did not communicate well.

  • Peter Pan

    The problem is that if Pakistan does not go to the iMF then Ishaq Dar will say that he has a few friends in the banking sector who will give concessional loans with no strings attached as he / Sartaj Aziz did the last time when Nawaz Sharif was in power. The result was that the so called concessional rates turned out to be initial “teaser” rates that even the average mortgage seeker shy’s away from. As a result Pakistan’s debt servicing liability rose unmanageable levels. It was after 9/11 when we got some debt rescheduling relief and concessional loans that Pakistan could pay off these loans with exorbitant rates.

    So I think the IMF is the only option available for now. The problem is that Dar has not given any thought to increase the Tax base. He did not touch on Agricultural income tax or tax on capital gains etc. and has done nothing about reforming the Tax system.
    Moreover the IMF only tries to convince its members that there is no such thing as a free lunch!. You have to pay full price for all that you consume, be it oil, electricity, gas, or whatever. Subsidies if given by government end up supporting those elements that consume the largest amounts of these or similar commodities which means the richest amongst us who so do not need any support.

    • Anonymous

      IMF or Mr Dar’s banker friends – stuck vetween a rock and a hard place….at leastit is not Hobson’s choice!

  • Anonymous

    “This is about fear mongering like cowards who are not sure of themselves……incurring debt to pay debt with compounding interest”

    Just like the fear that a Musharaff trial will unleash the military wrath. Perhaps the miltary will bring efficiencies and cuts in its budget to help the nation!

  • Anonymous

    Chickens coming home to roost now!

    If it was not so serious a matter, one could have lots of laughs with many a eminent anchors hyperventilating at the rupee slide – quoting percentage slides against dollar and pound without elaborating that pound itself has stregthened against the dollar so rupee is devalued against the pound even more because of this.

    Or an exchange dealer turning up to demand that government caps the rupee without telling us how to do it when the imports are substantially higher than exports and expenditures too are higher than income.

    Just because one was able to bluff their way over the past ten years without real inflation in Pakistan being taken into consideration for exchange rate purposes, does not mean that the bluff could carry on indefinitely. Let see how they deal with the fiscal and monetary problems now as this should decide how stable the future finances will be but some pain us inevitible.