Interruption of IMF in Internal Affairs of Have-nots through Loans-II

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Shahid Iqbal
When New York became the epicentre of the pandemic during the first couple of weeks applications in
millions for unemployment stipends were received, more or less was the situation in other developed
countries. Some economists were of the view that the pandemic possess all the capabilities of
bankrupting even some of the oil rich gulf kingdoms. Luckily, unlike Europe, the predictions made by
experts proved wrong the situation in these kingdoms remained quite under control and ameliorated as
the time passed. The so-called world’s largest democratic India could hardly bear a three days lockdown.
Indian PM Narendra Modi had to face a harsh reaction from the citizens over his worst decision which
inflicted citizens some of whom remained starve for three consecutive days during lockdown. He
shamefacedly apologised to the public for his grave miscalculation of the situation. Likewise, the
economy of Pakistan, which was highly susceptible to depreciation, was enormously damaged even by
controlled lockdowns. Since emancipation, Pakistan has never been able to meet the expenditure by its

revenues. Our budget deficit hit a record high in the history of Pakistan. It has always been a challenge
for all developing countries including Pakistan to fill the gap of budget deficit. It was the deficit that
compelled the government to surrender to hard conditions of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)
and World Bank for loans acquisition to resuscitate the tumbling economy of the country. IMF and
World Bank have become the two major giants to influence the policies and interrupt in internal affairs
of developing countries through loans. The budget of Pakistan for 2020-2021 is a tip of the iceberg how
a have-not developing autonomous country was subjugated through loans by these giants. The
government later revealed it hardly managed to allocate funds for defence sector under severe pressure
from IMF. The government seemed helpless to increase the pay of employees as there were directives
from IMF to make a deduction from employees’ salaries. The government followed the dictation of no
pay increase but turned a deaf ear to deduction from salaries as it could open a new front for the
government in the form of employees strikes against budget and resorting to resistance for their rights.
The deduction in the guise of professional allowance was, in fact, the partial fulfilment of the assigned
task of deduction from salaries by IMF. For face-saving the government solicited the help of a
terminology calling it a ‘Tax Free Budget’ an attempt to calm down the surging rage of government
employees triggered by no increase in pay and abolishment of professional allowance.The slogan of tax
free budget was dismantled by petrol mafia and the government surrendered to it by making a record
Rs.25/litre increase in petrol prices. In the post-budget scenario, the government finds itself with no
convincible arguments to avert criticisms from all corners of the society. The rest of developing
countries have also been facing the same challenges and it’s IMF that shapes their policies with frequent
interruption in their internal affairs. For the sake of financial assistance many governments of
developing countries assented to hard conditions, contradicted to their party manifestos, of IMF for
acquiring loans as no alternative has been available to them to cope with the challenges posed to their
economies by covid19. The incumbent PTI’s government has lost much of its popularity and currently
stands at the lowest ebb in its twenty four years long odyssey of reaching into the realm of powers. It
has compromised much of its manifestos. Erecting a Mandir in the capital city of Islamabad during
Corona pandemic triggered a harsh reaction not because the citizens were pessimistic towards a small
fraternity of Hindus but it reminds them the Lal Masjid massacre in the same capital city and the
promise of construction of 50 lac homes. The same fits perfectly with permanent abolishment of one lac
vacancies that reminds them the promise of creating one crore new vacancies for unemployed talented
youth anguishing about wether they would ever secure jobs. The government employees are not
worried for no pay raise in salaries as most of them understand the helplessness of the government but
curtailing professional allowance in the same month reminds them the promise of making the stumbling
economy stable through recovered money from corrupt politicians and promulgation of strict laws for
tax collection from the elite class. Some government employees consider abolishment of professional
allowance as the beginning of salary curtailing process and setting a trend for other political parties to
attack these ready-made morsels whenever they feel hungry. The government must change its policy
towards employees before the half-baked volcano turns into a full-baked volcano to erupt in the form of
countrywide protests of employees for safeguarding their rights.