Pakistan unable to pay embassy staff, shows dire economic situation: Report

02 April 2022 17:30 STI

Islamabad [Pakistan]Apr 2 (ANI): Pakistan is struggling to pay even its embassy staff, revealing the difficult economic situation the country finds itself in, a news outlet has reported.
In a major embarrassment for the country, the Pakistani Embassy in Serbia, via its official Twitter account, recently revealed that the government has not paid its dues for three months. It was also claimed that the children of embassy officials had been forced out of school due to non-payment of school fees, Al Arabiya Post reported.
The Pakistani Foreign Ministry tried to cover it up by saying that the embassy’s social media account had been hacked. However, the government’s firefighting came to naught when a similar request for funds came from the Pakistani Embassy in Argentina, according to the report.
The embassy in Buenos Aires was forced to sound the alarm when the school where the Pakistani ambassador’s children attended issued a final notice to pay dues. Similar issues of non-payment of school fees for children of Pakistani mission officers in Bangladesh have also been reported in the past, the report adds.

Recently, the Pakistani Embassy in Washington was also reportedly in a sorry state and could not pay the salaries of its contract employees for several months. A report revealed that local hires were paid for by the Pakistan Community Welfare (PCW) fund, which collapsed in 2020 after its funds were diverted to deal with the COVID-19 crisis. In October 2021, unpaid staffers wrote a letter to the ambassador urging him to resolve the issue, according to the report.
The economic figures reveal the bad economic scenario in the country, according to the report, adding that despite the “sunny” approach of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). Pakistan’s debts and total debts have exceeded PKR 50.5 trillion, an increase of around PKR 20 trillion under the current government of Prime Minister Imran Khan. The SBP data further shows that the current account deficit has increased to 4.7% of GDP, well above the 2-3% target for 2021. Additionally, the rupiah plunged to break through the bar. of 183 PKR against the US Dollar, indicating gloomy fundamentals.
Pakistan’s former Federal Board of Revenue chairman Shbbar Zaidi during his speech at a university in Karachi in December 2021 noted that the country was clearly bankrupt and “not in business”. He further argued that it is rather more than unusual for a country that is not at war, either with itself or anyone else, to rush to the ground, according to The report.
Recently, a staff mission from the international lender held the first round of discussions with tax officials in Pakistan and raised the issue of personal income tax reforms to increase revenue peaks and address the economic downturn. ongoing in the country, the Dawn newspaper reported.
While surprising, the revelations made by the embassies do not appear to be limited to these countries alone, the report states, further adding that the misplaced economic priorities of the Pakistani government have extended the financial vulnerability of its people to its diplomatic community in worldwide. the world. (ANI)