Bilawal lambastes PM Imran, says he put country's future at risk through obtaining loans

Bilawal lambastes PM Imran, says he put country’s future at risk through obtaining loans

PPP Bilawal Bhutto Zardari addressing a press conference at Bilawal House in Karachi on May 3, 2021. — Online/File

PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto said Thursday Prime Minister Imran Khan had enslaved the whole nation to the international lenders and put the country’s future at stake.

Bilawal, in a statement, said PM Imran Khan is carrying a “begging bowl” to Washington, Riyadh, Dubai, and Beijing to “tarnish” the country’s prestige.

The PPP chairman said the prime minister was putting the country at risk for generations to come by running the state’s economy on loans.

“In 2021 alone, the selected PM has borrowed 10 billion dollars with a sharp increase of 35%. This … PM has overseen Pakistan’s external debt increasing to $116 billion from $95 billion with the increase of $21 billion,” he said.

“Pakistan will never be able to repay these debts, even if all national assets are mortgaged to our creditors. This puts Pakistan in a precarious position, from which the country might not recover.”

The PPP chairman said people may not realise it now, but the next generations would suffer under the burden of this vast accumulated debt.

“To add insult to injury, the federal cabinet — which happens to be the epitome of corruption — is squandering this borrowed money. The cabinet and the PM’s crony capitalist mafias are embezzling money from the public exchequer,” he added.

Bilawal warned the prime minister to pay heed to the plight of the underprivileged and must see what he has done to the common salaried class and the daily-wage earners who can no longer feed their families because of the skyrocketing inflation.

“What little they earn, can no longer sustain them. While Imran Khan galavants across the country and the world, the people he is meant to serve are left to rot in hell,” Bilawal added.

Current fiscal year’s loans

Pakistan has so far obtained $10.19 billion (Rs1,571 billion) external inflows from all multilateral, bilateral creditors and through raising international bonds during the first 10 months (July-April) of the current fiscal year 2020-21.

Out of $10.19 billion inflows, Islamabad received a major chunk to the tune of $9.97 billion in the shape of foreign loans from all creditors and only fetched $222 million in the shape of grants.

The government had envisaged total external inflows of $12.233 billion for the whole financial year 2020-21, both in the shape of loans and grants. Almost one third to the tune of $3.246 billion were obtained through expensive commercial borrowings so far in the current fiscal year.

Commercial borrowing from banks is being used as bridge financing for meeting the overall external financing requirements.

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