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PM Imran Khan to ‘personally talk’ to IMF head over aid money conditions

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Prime Minister Imran Khan addresses the launch event of the National Human Development Report (NHDR) on Pakistan, compiled by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in Islamabad, Pakistan, April 6, 2021. Geo News/Screengrab via The News

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan said Tuesday he would "personally talk" to International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva about the conditions imposed on developing countries over aid money.

PM Imran Khan's comments came during his address at the launch event of the National Human Development Report (NHDR) on Pakistan — compiled by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) — in Islamabad.

"We're going to speak to the IMF because we see disruptions ahead," the premier said. "Just when our economy was recovering and all the indicators were positive [but] unfortunately, we will now have to review the situation and [likely introduce] a new Ehsaas programme.

"In Pakistan, our service industry has been really badly hurt and now, with this third wave [of the novel coronavirus], we will have to give incentive packages," he added.

PM Imran Khan further mentioned that the time was ripe to talk about a second aid package.

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"I think it's time for a second package and we will obviously talk to the IMF and I think that the head of the IMF realises — and I've read her statement — that this is a very unique situation and you cannot suppress demand.

"You cannot impose conditions when people have already suffered. I will personally talk to her," he vowed.

Referring to Dr Hafeez Pasha, Pakistan's former finance minister and the former assistant secretary-general of the UN who was also present in the meeting, the PM said the UNDP report clearly stated that poor people — who are "the most affected by the coronavirus lockdowns everywhere in the world" — need to be protected.

"We will be talking to them and I look forward to reading in detail your suggestions [on] how we can protect the most vulnerable section of our society."


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