ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Can Imports Be Touched

THE finance minister has, at his press conference on his return from the IMF-World Bank meeting in Washington, denied that the government was intending to approach the IMF for another loan to cope with the growing balance of payments difficulties. However, the denial was couched in terms which made it almost meaningless. For S B Chavan was careful to emphasise that his statement held good only for the current yean Asked specifically about next year, he would only say, "next year I will have to set and tell. Now, no one has seriously suggested that the government was likely to hand the opposition a major propaganda issue on a platter by going in for an IMF loan before the general elections this year. Further, the whole process of negotiating with the IMF for a loan can be quite protracted and even if the initial soundings are made over the coming months the loan transaction itself may materialise only in the next financial year. Be that as it may, that is not the most significant aspect of what the finance minister had to say on the subject of his government asking the IMF for another loan.

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