Economic emergency proposal under consideration in Islamabad

1. Restrict all economic activity from 8 am to 6 pm. Meaning all markets, and businesses to close at 6 pm including restaurants etc
2. Personal vehicle usage to be restricted to 3 days only or Car must have 3 occupants. (Issue on implementation of traffic police in all provinces has been asked to devise a plan).
3. Reduce foreign flights to Gulf states by half and each travelling passenger must justify the trip. (MOFA and MOI instructed to prepare method) also, revert to the old system of no more than 2 international flights on foreign carriers a year for more than 2 trips citizens must travel with PIA or other Pakistani carriers. If NTN is not provided at the time of booking a flat fee of Pkr 5000/- for domestic travel and Pkr 65,000/- for international flights is to be imposed and collected at the airport before boarding.
4. Stop all self-financed Hajj and Umrah and ziarats. A citizen must receive NOC from the Ministry of religious affairs, and Finance and travel history must be used to determine.
5. Any dollar remittance for education overseas only from taxes money. If your tax returns do not justify citizens’ ability to fund a child’s education overseas that transaction must not be allowed.
6. Minimum one-year closure of money exchanges nationwide. Only banks are allowed to change the currency after due diligence is prepared by SBP.
7. Essential import priority. All LCs to be categorized per importance and need. Unless the exporter justifies import with confirmed orders for export no new machinery or plant import LC is to be opened.
8. All inward settlements are to be credited in PKR all foreign currency accounts in local banks are to be put on temporary hold and withdrawals are only in PKR on SBP set rate.
9. Govt official foreign trips to be halted unless the host country is paying. Only state visits for bilateral importance are to be undertaken with minimum support staff and no private citizens or family members to travel and PM and other dignitaries are to use only commercial flights for travel
Unless the destination has no commercial airline connectivity.

A total of 22 points of a preliminary summary including the above 9 points has been proposed to Ministry of Finance with a lot of resistance at every level. The situation is dire and all-out efforts are being made to keep appearances and maintain positive sentiment but officials are saying that IMF has become increasingly difficult and demanding unrealistic steps.

The current govt is fighting all such adverse proposals with full force but finding it increasingly impossible to further delay such harsh and impractical steps. Meanwhile Pakistani elite are quietly setting up businesses and relocating their wealth overseas. Let us not forget only 2 years ago Sri Lankan economy was tipped as the best-performing economy in this part of the world and today is left in ruins. Important and very painful days ahead.

TN Media News