First of all, it is all about dollars. The dollar in interbank is for rupees 226 and open market is 265 rupees. The banks are buying dollars from the open market to serve their credit card customers. The dollar is still around 23 index points off from its actual disposition. In my opinion, a series of events led to the failure of Ishaq Dar to maintain the value of the Pakistani rupee at a stable level and address economic issues as he had done in the past.
There were a series of events that contributed to the economic challenges faced by Pakistan and the inability of the Finance Minister, Ishaq Dar, to address them effectively. The SBP Amendment Act gave the central bank control over currency policy and the IMF has pressured Pakistan to maintain a market-based exchange rate. Dar’s attempts to intervene in currency markets and maintain the value of the rupee were unsuccessful due to the independence of the central bank and negative market perceptions of his actions.
The effects of severe floods in Pakistan also constrained the government’s fiscal space. Dar tried to use this situation to negotiate with the IMF and seek support from other countries, but this plan did not succeed. Instead of following IMF guidelines, Dar continued to push for his own agenda, causing delays in the program and further destabilizing the economy. His aggressive approach and public statements, such as his claim that he did not care if the IMF did not provide funding, contributed to market concerns about a potential default. Inflation and reserves declined, and Dar attempted to shift blame for these issues onto others, including the former Minister of Finance, Dr. Miftah Ismail.
The infighting and lack of decisive action, coupled with the IMF’s holiday break and negative economic indicators, increased chaos and uncertainty in the economy. The government is now seeking financial assistance from China, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia, but these efforts may be complicated by changing circumstances in these countries. It is hoped that Dar will cooperate with the IMF and work to stabilize the economy.
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The Finance Minister, Ishaq Dar, currently lacks the resources needed to address economic challenges as he has done in the past. He is seeking funding from a variety of sources, including the IMF, World Bank, ADB, China, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia. If he is able to obtain this funding, it is believed that he will attempt to appreciate the Pakistani rupee, which may lead to further economic instability within 24 hours.
What happens if Pakistan’s Economy defaults?
If Pakistan’s economy defaults, it would mean that the country is unable to meet its financial obligations and is unable to pay back its debts. This could have serious consequences, both for the Pakistani government and for the country’s citizens. It could lead to financial instability, a decline in the value of the Pakistani rupee, and difficulty obtaining loans in the future. It could also lead to social and political unrest, as people may become disillusioned with the government’s ability to manage the economy effectively. In the worst-case scenario, an economic default could lead to economic collapse, which could have far-reaching and devastating consequences for the country.
It is being said, that we always have collaterals like airports for their guarantee. The government should be responsible for providing necessary public services such as running courts, police stations, and air traffic control, but it is not necessary for the government to own and operate businesses in industries like oil and gas, transportation, and ports. Even if the lenders part take the stakes on defaults, it does not matter. Our airports already even earning us much.
I will cite the example of Sri Lanka, where people took things into their hands after huge inflation as they declared bankruptcy. Later on, Armed forces were deployed to take matters into their hands. Sri Lanka has faced economic challenges in the past, including a balance of payments crisis in 2018. This crisis was triggered by a number of factors, including high levels of debt, a large fiscal deficit, and a lack of foreign exchange reserves.
As a result of these challenges, the Sri Lankan government was forced to seek financial assistance from international organizations, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The IMF provided a $1.5 billion loan to Sri Lanka to help stabilize the country’s economy, but in return, the government had to implement a number of austerity measures, including cutting spending, raising taxes, and reducing subsidies. The measures were designed to help bring the country’s fiscal deficit under control and restore stability to the economy. While the Sri Lankan economy has improved since the crisis, it remains vulnerable to external shocks and will need to continue to implement responsible economic policies in order to sustain its recovery.
It is exactly what happened when Brazil defaulted. Brazil has faced financial challenges in the past, including a sovereign debt crisis in the 1980s and a balance of payments crisis in the late 1990s. In 2002, Brazil defaulted on its debt, which means that it was unable to make payments on its outstanding obligations. This default had serious consequences for the country, including a sharp depreciation of the Brazilian real, a decline in foreign investment, and a rise in borrowing costs. It also led to social and political unrest, as people were unhappy with the government’s handling of the economy.
In order to address the crisis, the Brazilian government implemented a number of measures, including a currency peg, a tightening of monetary policy, and structural reforms to improve the competitiveness of the economy. These measures helped stabilize the economy and restore confidence in the financial markets, but the recovery was slow and took several years.
Technical Default Vs. Global Default
In the context of a country, a default is a failure to make required payments on time, such as when a government or a corporation fails to pay back a loan or meet the terms of a bond. A default can also refer to a failure to fulfill other financial obligations, such as those related to pensions or contracts.
A technical default occurs when a country fails to meet a specific technical requirement, such as a requirement related to the terms of a loan or bond. Technical defaults are usually less severe than other types of defaults and may not result in a full-blown financial crisis. Technical default is when a country fails to return a debt to its donor on a prescribed day it committed while seeking the loan. There is a fifteen-day grace period from both the lender and seeker until it is called a sovereign default.
A global default, on the other hand, refers to a country’s failure to meet its financial obligations on a global scale. This type of default can have far-reaching consequences and can lead to a financial crisis not only for the defaulting country but also for other countries and financial institutions that are connected to it. Global defaults are generally considered to be more serious and more damaging than technical defaults.
Politics and the economy are not mutually exclusive. In your next ‘wtf’ move, PTI leadership has decided to jeopardize the IMF payments. With all the pain and destruction that is happening due to the floods, this was the last thing needed. A few of my PTI friends are not doing business, a lot many overseas are not doing usual remittances and many speculate dollar to bust to a whopping 300 rupees meaning they can manipulate demand and create fear of scarcity by holding dollars and putting their money in non-serviceable dollars.
Hard work, dedication, and sincere efforts can be rewarding. Some people may be working towards improving the economy, but negative perceptions, fueled by social media claims of Pakistan’s bankruptcy by the PTI party, can have a negative impact on both domestic and international sentiment towards the country. The economy is largely influenced by perceptions and sentiment.
Fifty percent of Pakistan’s economy is undocumented meaning there would be no taxes on the books not kept. Also, in the documented economy, almost all the registered taxpayers keep two books. These are unchartered areas, unaccounted. State-owned enterprises (SOEs) in certain sectors incur significant losses annually and also hinder the competitiveness of our economy through opportunity costs. By privatizing these SOEs, we can decrease the role of the government, increase tax revenue, and stimulate employment and economic growth. Privatization is always against assets that are of value to the private equity holder and the garbage remains for the Government e.g. the private entities are always discussing Roosevelt Hotel property in New York when it comes to PIA but nobody wants to rectify the operational capabilities.
How could the IMF come up with CPEC?
During Ishaq Dar’s previous tenure as Finance Minister, the inflow of dollars from the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and low oil prices helped to stabilize the economy and gave Dar more influence. However, this is not the case currently as these factors are not present. Back in the day, the International Monetary Fund had described Pakistan’s economic outlook as positive, citing improvements in energy availability and structural reforms that support growth. According to the IMF, investor confidence in Pakistan was increasing as the economy stabilized following the completion of a bailout program. The report cites Chinese infrastructure investments as a factor in economic development, noting that these projects will create opportunities for local entrepreneurs and contribute to balanced economic growth across all sectors of the economy.
Approximately ten years ago, Indian media frequently focused on the positive aspects of the country’s economic growth, creating a positive perception and attracting investment from both domestic and foreign investors. This helped to improve the country’s economic situation. The government is trying to improve the perception of the economy, but these efforts have been weak and hindered by opposition parties that control significant parts of the country, including Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan. If the government could effectively address the challenges posed by opposition leader IK, particularly in Punjab, the economic situation could improve in a few months.
It seems that today there is a significant level of uncertainty in Pakistan’s economy, causing concern and discomfort. The stock exchange in Pakistan has been experiencing a decline over the past few months, which may be due to manipulation by non-Pakistani fund managers and the withdrawal of foreign investment. Additionally, exports have decreased significantly and the country is struggling with debt. It is important to note that the performance of the stock exchange does not necessarily reflect the overall health of the macroeconomy, as assessed by organizations like the IMF. It may be necessary for the government to implement policies to address these economic challenges and stabilize the economy.
It is not uncommon for organizations like the IMF and global leaders to express concerns about the stability of an economy, particularly if there are risks that could affect the ability of the country to make loan repayments. In the case of Pakistan, there may be a number of factors that are contributing to concerns about the country’s economic stability and its ability to make loan repayments under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). These factors could include a high level of debt, a large fiscal deficit, a lack of foreign exchange reserves, and a slowing economy. It is important for the Pakistani government to address these challenges in order to restore stability to the economy and ensure that it can make its loan repayments on time.
The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as a source of Economic Power
It is agreed that Pakistan may need to seek financial assistance from the IMF and that this support may come with the backing of China. China has invested in Pakistan for mutual benefit and as a good friend. The Chinese government’s investments have had a positive impact on Pakistan’s economy. According to data from the Board of Investment (BOI), it is expected that the Pakistani economy will experience a multiplier effect in 2020 and beyond as a result of the 15 billion dedicated to infrastructure and 35 billion for energy projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). These projects, which focus on necessary infrastructure and energy development, are necessary to attract investment and stimulate economic growth. It is important to note that Pakistan is in control of the CPEC, which will give it more support and negotiating power in the future. Do you want to know the best part? Today, China is guaranteeing IMF for helping Pakistan.
While China benefits from economic growth under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Pakistan bears all the risk and is responsible for repaying the $46 billion loan. This large loan may not be a significant burden for China, but it is a significant burden for Pakistan. Some may view the situation as deceptive. Pakistani business people who are currently doing business abroad should consider shifting their investments back to Pakistan. The IMF, which has provided financial assistance to Pakistan, has been criticized for imposing large debts on underdeveloped countries that may take multiple generations to pay off. The success of the CPEC depends on China’s economy remaining strong and free of global sanctions, allowing it to freely trade with the rest of the world.
Fight against TTP and Afghan Border
China has a history of entering a market and dominating the local industry, potentially leading to the demise of local businesses. The Chinese have been given access to Pakistan through the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and it is feared that Chinese goods may have a similar impact on the Pakistani industry as Walmart has had in other countries. Pakistan could potentially benefit from implementing a “Make in Pakistan” initiative similar to India’s “Make in India” program, which aims to sustain and improve local industry and technology. Some may argue that Pakistani leadership has demonstrated poor judgment in agreeing to the terms of the CPEC and that the country will bear a heavy burden as a result.
In summary, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has the potential to alter the political landscape of South Asia. It may improve Pakistan’s international status, improve the geopolitical environment, and reduce defense spending. Additionally, the CPEC may help stabilize society by addressing security issues with the support of other countries. However, Pakistan’s economic sovereignty is largely dependent on China, as the CPEC is funded by a $46 billion loan from China. This loan is not an investment that China will recoup through the success of the CPEC. There are concerns about the stability of this arrangement, particularly under the current US administration. If the CPEC fails to generate expected profits, it is unclear how Pakistan will be able to repay the loan.
After paying off its debts, Pakistan has only about $6.5 billion remaining, which is insufficient to cover the cost of importing raw materials for re-export or essential commodities like petroleum and pulses. The country is effectively bankrupt and may face difficulties if it does not receive financial assistance from the IMF or an influx of US dollars in the near future.
If we address our immediate debt issues, I believe it is a worthwhile risk. Each political party has a small group of members who are unhappy with the direction of the party. If these individuals come together, it is possible to create positive change. There can be a disagreement between the priorities of political parties and the priorities of the nation, especially during economic downturns. This can lead to some political parties losing support, but over time, circumstances may change. The current political system, including parties, elections, and a constitution, is the result of a long history of political development and is structured to take into account the motivations and incentives of individuals and groups.