‘IMF popularity at all-time low’

From the Daily Times, Pakistan

* Pakistan Economy Watch president says IMF policies ruined 68 economies worldwide

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Economy Watch has said that the popularity of International Monetary Fund (IMF) has dwindled significantly and it should modify its policies to increase the level of acceptance.

The popularity of fund established in 1945 is at an all-time low. Lack of customers has put its own existence in jeopardy. It’s high time for international lenders and IMF to reconsider their policies often blamed for enhancing poverty and gap between rich and poor, said Dr Murtaza Mughal, President of the Pakistan Economy Watch.

Currently only Turkey was accepting the IMF programme and Georgia had no other option after war with Russia. This is because of the perception that the policies of the IMF were behind 68 ruined economies in the world.

Mughal said that record shows that the ‘recommendations and dictations’ of international lenders have increased poverty, illiteracy, diseases and infant deaths across the globe. Currently 600,000 children die every year due to abject poverty partly to be blamed on developed world and international lenders. “The IMF will force a country for privatisation, so-called structural adjustments, devaluation of currency, cutting health and educational expenditures, impose higher interest rates, lift protection and slashing subsidies which destroys the fabric of society, industry, agriculture, FDI, Balance of Payments, developmental goals and current account balance,” said Mughal. He said this lender has become a US tool to keep underdogs deprived. It uses attractive economic terms to lure people and governments into traps.

“The International Monetary Fund, World Bank and other mega banks could be termed as doctors who never helped a patient survive,” he said. “These institutions are also behind irresponsible lending that only promotes corruption and the masses are ultimate sufferers. “Lenders prefer to fund dictators and corrupt rulers,” he added. The situation has reached to an extent that only failing states would deal with The IMF. Pakistan is ready to swallow any bitter pill but would not like to step into any of the lender’s programmers.

President Asif Zardari in his first speech to the joint sitting of both houses clearly said that Pakistan would not opt for an IMF programme. If the government failed to arrange money from alternative sources, it would be unfortunate. staff report

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Filed under IFIs, Multilateral Institutions, Pakistan

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