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Pakistan May Not Need IMF Bailout Due To Help From 'Friendly Counties': PM Imran Khan

DIVYIA ASTHANA | 1
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| October 19 , 2018 , 11:10 IST

Days after Pakistan formally approached the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a bailout package due to economic distress, Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that the country may not need an IMF bailout. PM Khan said that Pakistan has received "positive" responses from some "friendly countries" which would help tide over its economic crisis, media reported on Friday.

Although PM Khan did not mention any countries by name, Pakistani media has reported that the government was consulting allies like China and Saudi Arabia for financial aid to address the mounting balance of payments deficit and dwindling foreign currency reserves.

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"Their response is positive. I am quite hopeful that we will not have to approach the International Monetary Fund for our economic needs," PM Khan was quoted as saying by The News.

"Had the former government not received loans or the amount so received was utilised properly, the economy of the country would have been in a good shape," he said.

Since coming into power in August this year, the former cricketer Khan has vowed to steer Pakistan out of its financial crisis, for which he says the nation needs $10-12 billion. While a bailout package from the IMF would be granted after careful consideration and strings attached, taking financial aid from helpful nations would be an easier solution for Pakistan's monetary troubles.

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Pakistan Finance Minister Asad Umar had met with IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde on October 12 on the sidelines of the IMF and World Bank annual meetings in Indonesia's Bali to formally request a "stabilisation recovery programme".

Umar said that a team of the IMF would arrive in Pakistan on November 7, claiming that the loan programme with the IMF was alsmost final but the Pakistan government would have to see that the IMF does not place any undoable conditions for Pakistan in return.

Lagarde made it clear to Umar that the IMF would require absolute transparency on Pakistan's debts, including those with China under the controversial China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).