PM Shehbaz urges nation to adopt austerity measures

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, while addressing a federal cabinet meeting in Islamabad on Wednesday, said that austerity measures are the government’s top priority.

The cabinet was discussing important matters ahead of the staff-level agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) expected to be signed before next week.


“Time is calling for us to adopt restraint, simplicity and sacrifice,” he said while addressing the meeting.

PM Shehbaz stressed that “everyone including the ministers, advisers and bureaucrats will have to be part of the austerity campaign” adding that the government “has tried its best to fulfil its duty”.

He also said that running a coalition government was “no easy task” but highlighted that the PDM government was working together as a united front to “bring the country back on track”.

“Instead of looking back,” he said, “we must renew our resolve to mover forward today”.

Simultaneously, the prime minister expressed hope that the IMF programme will resume soon.

Earlier this month, the country’s foreign exchange reserves slipped to the alarming level of below $3 billion for the first time in nine years, reducing import capacity to slightly over two weeks.


As the government seeks to revive the IMF programme, Pakistan has also sought to secure assurances from Saudi Arabia and China for more loans.

Meanwhile, Islamabad has agreed to implement the Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies (MEFP), which contains policy suggestions by the IMF.

Sources have revealed that the staff-level agreement between the fund and the government is expected next week.


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