Pakistan Finance Minister Asad Umar to step down ahead of IMF bailout talks

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Pakistan Finance Minister Asad Umar
Pakistan Finance Minister Asad Umar

Islamabad : Pakistan's Finance Minister Asad Umar on Thursday said that he will step down from his post after he held talks with Prime Minister Imran Khan, raising his worries over averting an economic crisis and bailout talks with the International Monetary Fund.

There were speculations that Umar will soon leave his post as some businesses and investors were unhappy with his policies of taking a short term loan from allies such as China and Saudi Arabia instead of finalising an IMF rescue package after Khan assumed power in August.

“As part of a cabinet reshuffle PM desired that I take the energy minister portfolio instead of finance. However, I have obtained his consent to not take any cabinet position,” Umar said on Twitter.

Umar had been leading the negotiations with the IMF for Pakistan's 13th bailout since 1980, but has faced criticism over a worsening economic outlook under his watch.

Khan’s government has got temporary relief from allies including China and Saudi Arabia, who offered short-term loans worth more than $10 billion to buffer foreign currency reserves and ease pressures on the current account.