LAHORE: Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Media Iftikhar Durrani on Friday said that Prime Minister Imran Khan is confident of Finance Minister Asad Umar’s ability to handle the dwindling economy of the country.
In a statement issued on Friday, he denied the report published by a local news outlet which claimed that the premier is unhappy with the finance minister’s performance. He denied that no such meeting had taken place between the premier and the senior party leadership in which he expressed his reservations over the FM Umar’s performance.
“No such meeting had taken place and the prime minister has not expressed any reservations over the performance of the finance minister,” he clarified.
“The finance minister is a close aide of the prime minister and is one of the senior members of the party. He is fully aware of the challenges confronting the country’s economy and the prime minister is also confident of his abilities,” he added.
Earlier, a local news outlet reported that during an informal meeting with senior leaders of his party, PM Khan expressed lack of confidence in the policies of his finance minister and said that the minister should have done prior planning on the issues concerning the country’s dwindling economy before taking charge of the ministry. He also told the meeting that the government had faced backlash for its uncertain stance of approaching the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a bailout package. The report had also claimed that the premier would take the nation into confidence soon over the economic policies of his government.
After taking the oath of office in August, the administration decided to explore other avenues of financing before considering another IMF bailout. The government sought loans from friendly countries, promised to recover money stolen by the corrupt and also adopted a series of austerity measures but when the government found no light at the end of the tunnel, it finally approached IMF earlier this week. If an agreement is reached, this would be Pakistan’s 13 IMF bailout.