Pakistan’s economy based on strong footing, zero chance of default: Ahsan Iqbal

(Staff Report):-

Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal has said despite economic challenges Pakistan was not defaulting in any case.

“Although we are facing economic challenges, there is zero percent chance of defaulting”, Ahsan Iqbal said while talking to British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) on Thursday night.

The minister said Pakistan’s economy had strong footings therefore, it would come out of crisis very soon.

Speaking about the flood damages in Pakistan, Ahsan Iqbal said over 1700 people were died across the country during the torrential rains and floods last year.

More than 9 million people slipped under poverty line while over 8 million people were facing mal-nutrition due to the devastating floods and rains, he added.

He informed that in the Geneva Conference held earlier this week, the international community and the development partners had pledged support of over $10 billion to help Pakistan recover from the damages caused by the floods.

He said the rehabilitation and reconstruction process was continued in the flood hit areas across the country, however he added that the complete recovery would take two to three years’ time.

To a question, the minister explained that the government had prepared a three years’ agenda for revival of the flood affected people.

As per the national reconstruction agenda, the government would provide 50 percent of total expenses in the rehabilitation and reconstruction process from its own resources. While rest of the funding gap would be bridged by the pledges made during the Geneva Conference, he added.

Pakistan on Monday (January 09) secured over $10 billion pledges from the international financial institutions, donor agencies and development partners for the rehabilitation, recovery and reconstruction of flood affected areas, during an International Conference on Climate Resilience.

The major pledges made at the conference, co-chaired by Pakistan and the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, included $4.2 billion from the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), $2 billion from the World Bank, $1.5 billion from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), $1 billion from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and $1 billion from Saudi Arabia.

Ahsan Iqbal said Pakistan would complete the reconstruction process with the help of international community and the development partners.