Pakistan Finance Minister Resigns Over IMF Deal Criticism

Pakistan’s finance minister resigned on Thursday following widespread criticism over the country’s economic crisis and his handling of a bailout deal with the IMF, the Financial Times reported. Asad Umar’s departure comes amid frustration from business leaders and opposition politicians with Islamabad’s decision last year to turn to countries including Saudi Arabia and China for at least $7.2bn in short-term loans instead of securing an IMF bailout package. But persistent economic weakness has driven Pakistan back to the fund and Islamabad said this week that the country had reached an “agreement in principle” with the IMF after a delegation returned from Washington. The package would be the country’s 13th IMF bailout since the late 1980s. Since coming to power eight months ago, Prime Minister Imran Khan’s new government has wavered on crucial economic reforms. Pakistan’s gross domestic product growth is expected to slow to about 3.5 per cent this year from 5.2 per cent in 2018. Read more