Gov’t to restore IMF programme; present people-friendly budget: Miftah Ismail

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

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ISLAMABAD: 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 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 value of rupee would not slide further while the markets would also perform well.

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

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

He said, PML(N) left 2.3 percent food inflation which has gone upto 10 percent in the year and 14 percent in March.

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

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

He said that during these 3 and quarter to four years’ government, the PTI has taken more than Rs20,000 billion 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 utilized to build energy plants, road infrastructure, dams and education promotion, however no such utilization was witnessed in PTI government.

He said that rupee also devalued by Rs68 in PTI regime whereas PTI government took around $27 billion 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 which were again thrown below poverty line by PTI regime.

He said that exports increased only in value, not in quantity adding that that imports too increased and are expected to reach 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 gas circular debt to 1.5 trillion. He said the government would constitute a commission to investigate urea smuggling.

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