IMF dollars won’t be used to pay Chinese debt, says finance minister

October 13, 2018

Finance Minister Asad Umar has said that Pakistan’s IMF’s bailout package will not be used to pay for its Chinese debt.

“We didn’t approach the IMF for Chinese debt,” the minister told media on Saturday. “It is inappropriate to link the IMF program with Chinese debt.”

The PTI government is under severe criticism from the opposition for approaching the IMF.

Pakistan has gone to the IMF 18 times and we hope that this is the last time, he said.

“We have not done anything usual,” Umar said. “We had to go to the IMF because of economic challenges.”

However, the minister said that Pakistan could revisit its decision to seek the IMF’s help if the government finds its conditions unacceptable.

An IMF team is visiting Pakistan in the coming weeks to discuss a possible bailout. The fund may seek details of Chinese debt on Pakistan before processing Islamabad’s request for financial assistance.

“We need to have a complete understanding and absolute transparency about the nature, size and terms of the debt that is bearing on a particular country,” IMF MD Christine Lagarde told reporters in Bali on October 11.

“This issue of debt transparency and an appropriate understanding of debt are not only going to apply to Pakistan. It has to apply to all countries,” she said.