After months of negotiation, Pakistan has reached an accord with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a three-year $6 billion ‘bailout’ package with an aim to bolster a slowing economy. However, it’s going to be a bitter pill for the country’s citizens already reeling under inflation and price hike.
The Imran Khan-led government will have to bring in painful tax increases, subsidy cuts and devalue the rupee in return for a huge bailout. As there has been a lot of buzz surrounding the issue online, with many criticising the PM for backtracking on his previous stance on IMF’s aid, a spoof video on the issue has Netizens in splits.
In the parody video doing rounds on social media, a man defends Khan’s move in a witty and sarcastic way. As the news anchor asks him about the price hike in the country, he comes up with an unusual logic by comparing the price of a samosa and phone calls— all to suggest that the increased amount of one is just to create a balance between a decreased price of another, leaving the anchor baffled.
When the anchor pointed out that Khan used to say he would not seek out another bailout from the IMF, the man comes up with another brazen answer saying it’s not Khan who approached the IMF but the other way around and added that the $6 billion shouldn’t be turned down as “it’s like a gift that guests often bring to our homes.” The satirical skit by Daily Pakistan is going viral and has left people online laughing out loud.
The recent deal, which still needs approval by the IMF board in Washington, would be the 13th such bailout since the late 1980s. Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh told PTV television he hoped it would be Pakistan’s last.
The IMF forecasts Pakistan’s economic growth slowing to 2.9% this fiscal year from 5.2 per cent in 2018, while the central bank has cut its estimate to between 3.5-4 per cent, Reuters reported.
As the bailout talks neared culmination, Khan shook up his top economic team, replacing Asad Umar with Hafeez Shaikh as finance minister and making IMF economist Reza Baqir central bank governor instead of Tariq Bajwa.