IMF budget cut recipe termed disastrous for economy


ISLAMABAD: Patron Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders Shahid Rasheed Butt today expressed concern over IMF directive to cut developmental budget by Rs360 billion to keep budget deficit in limit.

“The IMF recipe will damage society and result in poverty, frustration and law and order problems which are unacceptable,” he said.

Shahid Rasheed Butt said that government should improve external trade, increase tax base and curb smuggling to improve its income.

A cut of 24 percent will hurt social sector as it will hit PSDP, ADP and grants etc. which is not acceptable.

The veteran business leader said that the situation is outcome of continued fall in the exports which has reduced income of the government that can be reversed through reforms.

The concerned officials continue to issue encouraging statements without doing something on the ground, he said, adding that merchandise exports fell for the seventh straight month in January, down 13.9 percent to $1.77 billion as compared to the same month a year earlier.

Around Rs344 billion refunds, especially of textile sector that contributes more than half to the exports, have been pending with the government for years which needs attention.

He said that export sector should be revived, provision of low cost and sustainable energy should be ensured and refunds worth trillions of rupees should be released while new markets should be explored.

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