LAHORE: The Pakistan Industrial and Traders Associations Front (PIAF) has supported Prime Minister Imran Khan’s call on the international community to write off the debts of vulnerable countries, such as Pakistan, as the coronavirus may shatter the economies of developing countries.
PIAF chairman Mian Nauman Kabir, in a joint statement along with senior vice chairman Nasir Hameed Khan and vice chairman Javed Iqbal said that the world community should think of some sort of a debt write-off for countries like Pakistan, which are very vulnerable, at least that will help it in coping with the coronavirus.
He called for the Anti-Debt campaign on a vast level aimed at cancelation of Debt of Pakistan. He urged the donor countries and the international financial institutions (IFIs) to cancel Pakistan’s foreign debt.
Mian Nauman Kabir asked them to extend grants to Pakistan instead of loans. It was nothing short of a crime that a poor country like Pakistan was being deprived of such a heavy amount every year in the repayment of its foreign loans, he said. He urged that an immediate debt write-off was required to ensure that the emergency aid does not get consumed in debt repayments.
PIAF chairman feared that if Pakistan sees a serious outbreak than the government’s efforts to revive the economy may go down the drain.
He also urged the government to stand up and say no to international financial institutions. He called upon the political forces and civil society organisations to get together for an anti-debt campaign and support the PM in this regard.
Nauman Kabir said that in the past 18 months, Pakistan’s external debt and liabilities have increased by over Rs2,440 billion. The government’s domestic debt which was around Rs16.4 trillion in June 2019 spiraled to Rs21.6 trillion in Dec 2019, a jump of over 25 percent in just a year and a half.