Govt to restore IMF programme; present people-friendly budget: Miftah Ismail

122 to restore IMF programme; present people-friendly budget Miftah Ismail

ISLAMABAD, (APP): Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue, Miftah Ismail said here on Wednesday that the government would make all-out efforts to restore the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) programme with International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Speaking at ‘Meet the Press’ organized by National Press Club, the finance minister, who was accompanied by Federal Minister Information and Broadcasting, Marriyuam Aurangzeb, said that government would do whatever was necessary to restore the programme.

He said the government could reduce public sector development spending with other necessary budgetary discipline arrangements. “We will restore the programme. If the government had to tighten its belt, it will do so,” he said adding that no extra burden would be put on people.

He said the government would give a people-friendly and development-friendly budget despite all odds created by the PTI government. He expressed the hope that the value of the rupee would not slide further while the markets would also perform well.

He said the Pakistan Muslim League (N) had left its growth rate at 6.1 per cent which was reduced to 1.9 per cent in the first year of the PTI government, negative one per cent the following year and now this year the projection is 4 per cent.

Likewise, he added, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) based inflation has gone up from 3.9 to 12.7 whereas the Sensitive Price Indicator has climbed up to 17.3 per cent adding that the rural inflation has witnessed more hike than an urban one, which is unusual.

He said PML(N) left 2.3 per cent food inflation which has gone up to 10 per cent in the year and 14 per cent in March

Similarly, the Budget deficit during the 5 years of PML(N) tenure was recorded at Rs1600 billion on average, however, during the current year, it has been recorded at Rs5600 billion.

Miftah said the tax collection has also reduced from 11 .1 per cent of GDP to 9.1 per cent whereas the debt which was Rs24,952.9 billion in PML(N) era has now risen to Rs42,735 billion by December 2021.

He said that during these 3 quarters to four years, the PTI has taken more than Rs20,000 billion in debt.

He said that from first Prime Minister Liaqat Ali Khan to Nasir-ul-Mulk, the total debt was recorded at Rs25,000 billion whereas Imran khan took Rs20,000 billion debt in less than four years, an average of around Rs5500 billion.

He said when PML(N) took debt, the same was utilized to build energy plants, road infrastructure, dams and education promotion, however, no such utilization was witnessed in the PTI government.

He said that the rupee was also devalued by Rs68 in the PTI regime whereas the PTI government took around $27 billion in external debt, an average of $9 billion per year, adding that the average of taking debt was just $1 billion in PML(N) government.

He said that PML(N) government had lifted 20 million people out of poverty who were again thrown below the poverty line by the PTI regime.

He said that exports increased only in value, not in quantity adding that imports too increased and are expected to reach a historic high at $75 billion this year. So against the exports of $30 billion, the trade ratio would be 1:2.5.

He said the current account deficit was also at $20 billion whereas the reserves have gone down to $10.8 billion

He said other than the power circular debt, the PTI regime has accumulated a gas circular debt of 1.5 trillion.

He said the government would constitute a commission to investigate urea smuggling.

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