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PM hints at seeking second Covid relief package from IMF


Prime Minister Imran Khan has emphasised the need for providing second relief package to the masses particularly the poor segment of the society to deal with impact of the third coronavirus wave.

He remarked while addressing the launching ceremony of UNDP’s Pakistan National Human Development Report (NHDR) on Inequality held in Islamabad on Tuesday.

PM Imran said he will personally talk to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) head Kristalina Georgieva for the purpose.

Last month, the IMF approved four pending reviews of the Pakistan’s economy and released the third tranche of around $500 million, reviving the $6 billion programme after it remained derailed for over a year

In order to put the programme back on track, Premier Imran took some tough political decisions despite prevailing political uncertainty. These measures, which were also the prior conditions, included significantly increasing electricity prices, imposition of Rs140 billion taxes and agreeing to an unparalleled autonomy for the central bank.

While recalling the measures his government took during the first Covid-19 wave, the premier said “it’s time for second incentive package and we will obviously talk to the IMF”.

He also said that unlike the United States, which provided $4 trillion stimulus package to cope up with coronavirus, Pakistan was “barely” able to give only $8 billion package.

“Masses are affected everywhere in the world by lockdowns,” PM Imran said while calling upon the world community to take steps to cope up with the challenges of Covid-19 pandemic.

“The UNDP report will really help us in fine tuning the policies and the main thing is to protect the poor section of the society,” he added.

The prime minister while highlighting unequal distribution of wealth across the world said “elite capture” is a problem that is confronting not only developing countries but also developed nations.

“Some 60 people own about the same amount of wealth owned by 3 billion people on this earth,” he said while quoting a figure from a report.

The coronavirus pandemic, he said, has widened the inequalities around the globe as it made the “poor poorer”.



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