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$9bn needed to run Pakistan: Finance Minister Asad Umar

$9bn needed to run Pakistan: Finance Minister Asad Umar

Newly appointed Finance Minister Asad Umar told the Senate on Friday that the federal government requires $9 billion to run Pakistan.

"The number that we need to borrow, according to the budget, is $9 billion," said the finance minister. "But we are trying to address the root cause that compels us to borrow these $9bn. Of course, we know any measures [we take] will take time — maybe even two or three years — to bear fruit.

"In the meantime, whatever gap there is, we are calculating. As soon as our plan gets finalised, which it should within one to two weeks, we will present in before the parliament, and then we will also seek suggestions from the National Assembly and Senate to improve it further."

Umar said that the decision to approach the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for loans will be taken after consultations and taking the parliament into confidence.

Earlier this month, while speaking to the media after he was given his first briefing as the minister for finance by the secretary, Umar had said that the government would soon decide whether to present a fresh federal budget or come up with some other way to lay out the actual economic situation in parliament.

He had also said that the priority of the new government is to repatriate the ‘huge’ amount of funds transferred abroad through the illegal practice of money laundering.

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