Prime Minister of Pakistan Shehbaz Sharif said that it was embarrassing for him to ask for more loans from friendly countries, saying it was not a permanent solution for the cash-strapped country’s economic challenges.
While Addressing the passing out ceremony of probationary officers of the Pakistan Administrative Service (PAS) here in the capital of Punjab province on Saturday, Prime Minister Sharif said that during the past 75 years, different governments whether headed by Political leadership or Military dictators could not address the economic issues.
Premier Shehbaz said it really embarrassed him to ask for further loans while lauding the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the financial support.
He said that seeking foreign loans was not the right solution to address Pakistan’s economic challenges as the loans would have to be eventually returned.
The prime minister said that sustainable development goals (SDGs) could be achieved and foreign loans avoided had their “bus could have moved at a fast pace” and on the right track.
Remember that Pakistan is battling to fix the economic and political climate in the country. During Shehbaz Sharif’s recent visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed announced a grant of a further USD 1 billion loan to Pakistan.
Saudi Arabia and the UAE are the two key supporters of Pakistan who come to its rescue when the chips are down.
Earlier days ago Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said that the world showed trust in Pakistan and announced Aid worth $9.7 billion, to help rehabilitate flood victims and infrastructure.
While Addressing the media after the Climate Resilient Pakistan conference in Geneva, the premier said the government would continue to help the people affected by devastating floods till their complete rehabilitation.
The Prime Minister Congratulated his federal Ministers for their hard work and said announced that “At the Climate Resilient Pakistan conference, pledges (Aid) worth $9.7 billion were announced for the Pakistan flood victims”
“Islamic Development Bank promised $4.2 billion, World Bank $2 billion, Saudi Arab $1 billion, Asian Infrastructure Development Bank $1 billion, Asian Development Bank $500 million, USAID $100 million, China $100 million, Italy €23 million, Japan $77 million, Qatar $25 million, UK £36 million, and France $10 million,” the prime minister said.
The premier crediting his team for the success said that the world showed their trust in Pakistan despite the worst propaganda against the government.
Remember that Pakistan’s economic situation is facing severe headwinds with inflation being forecast to stay high between 21-23 percent and the country’s fiscal deficit widening by more than 115 percent in the first four months (July-October) of the current fiscal year. Pakistan’s economy has been on a downhill because of the political crisis, plummeting rupee, inflation which is at an unprecedented high, added to it last year’s devastating floods, and a global energy crisis which has further worsened the situation.
Keeping this inview UAE has agreed to roll over USD 2 billion and also approved providing USD 1 billion in loans.
Riyadh also is considering beefing up its deposit in the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) from USD 3 billion to USD 5 billion as Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman directed his financial officials to study increasing the Pakistan deposit by USD 2 billion.
Address to Civil Servants :
The prime minister urged the civil servants to serve the country and nation with their utmost capacities and expressed the hope that they were capable of steering the country out of the current challenges.
He reminded them that after assuming their basic responsibilities in practical life, they would be confronted with issues like unemployment, poverty, disease, lack of education, and delayed response to public problems.
Appreciating the civil bureaucracy, the prime minister said that he personally knew a number of good officers who had strived to serve the country by shedding their sweat and blood.
In a veiled reference to the previous government, the prime minister said baseless allegations were levelled against certain officers which caused embarrassment for their families.
He said due to such a situation, the civil bureaucrats, thought twice before taking any step in the performance of their duties which was a real stumbling block.
Referring to the performance of the bureaucracy, the prime minister cited that he had set a two-month target for the civil administration for the establishment of education facilities in one of the flood-affected areas of Balochistan and during his recent visit to the province, he admired them for establishing a smart school within the stipulated timeframe.
Terming them as “future of Pakistan”, the prime minister expressed the optimism that they would perform with dedication and honesty as the nation had attached expectations to them.
“Let’s move to transform Pakistan into Quaid’s vision and strive to turn it stronger. The people will remember you for your yeoman’s service,” he added.
The prime minister also congratulated the officers of PAS on the completion of their courses and said that they were the brightening stars of the nation, holding keys to the country’s future in their hands.
He also commended them for serving the flood-affected people and visiting different areas of the country.