By Ahmad Jawad
If somebody provides you interest free loan or very low interest rate loan in your crucial times with conditions that you will apply transparency, austerity, efficiency, productivity & monetary discipline. Can you ever blame that person?
Loan is provided to give you a window so that you do not fall into the same situation again. Loan gives you an opportunity to invest the amount for better returns & managing your balance of payment.
Majority of countries in the world who took IMF package were going through desperate times, when they took IMF package, and used IMF package to get rid of their immediate economic threats, but never really addressed the reasons which brought them into desperate times. So every IMF loan continued with another loan.
IMF never stopped a country to eradicate corruption, exercise monetary discipline, generate revenue, improve governance, create opportunities, appoint right person for right jobs, introduce merit & justice, ease of business, exercise accountability & create transparency. Then why do we blame IMF for our failures?
Australia, Austria, Turkey, Iceland, Belgium, Canada, Denmark & Ireland are examples which were leading IMF beneficiary countries, yet they managed well & they never had to curse IMF for their own doings. They never went back to IMF.
Mexico, Spain, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Argentina, Columbia, Egypt, African countries & many others were all IMF addicted to rescue their economy in an economic crisis. They could never learn to fix their own internal problems.
Pakistan has gone to IMF 21 times in the past, both Zardari & Sharifs regimes took IMF bail out package in very first year of their rule. Today we carry Rs 3000 Trillion loan mostly taken in last 30 years.
Was there any hue and cry over going to IMF in the past? Why now?
IMF loan is the only recipe to pay back what was taken from IMF by PMLN & PPP. Yes, this time we must fix our governance by appointing right people for right jobs. If we manage to appoint honest, talented, accomplished, hardworking & committed leaders for 400 plus public sector institutions, we will never have to go to IMF again.
IMF is a window of opportunity but not a source of remedy towards our governance challenges. We must take the window of opportunity but we have to bring our house in order ourselves. If this time, we bring our house in order after taking IMF loan, we will never have to go back to IMF again just like Turkey & Malaysia.
Right person for right job is the only recipe. Right person will never come from those who were part of problem in the past.