Pakistan has been saved from bankruptcy: Miftah Ismail

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From Our Correspondent

Islamabad: Finance Minister Miftah Ismail said that government was aware of financial hardship faced by people due to record inflation as he defended need to make “difficult decisions” to stabilise economy. In a press conference alongside Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb, he claimed that government would be able to control economic situation within three months.

He said stock market was in green whereas exchange rate was also heading towards stability amid imminent arrival of exchange reserves from China. He added that China agreed to provide $ 2.3 billion to Pakistan which would likely arrive today. He added that former Prime Minister Imran Khan violated agreement with International Monetary Fund which resulted in country’s current economic difficulties.

Miftah said talks with IMF regarding revival of fund facility were inching forward and he said government made a difficult decision to raise prices of petroleum products as it was necessary to save Pakistan from bankruptcy. He termed budget for upcoming financial year ‘historic’ and said that government did not put more burden on poorer segments of society and instead taxed rich to generate extra revenue. “Previous government imposed taxes on poor people,” he added. He said that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif reduced prices of flour, ghee and sugar whereas Imran could not even control price of sugar during his four-year tenure. “Welfare organisations foot bill for soup kitchens (langar khana) open during Imran’s government],” he added. He said that relief announced by PM in wake of an increase in fuel prices would benefit 80 million people. Miftah also lashed out at Imran Khan for leaving country on “brink of bankruptcy”. He said Imran left a deficit of $ 120 billion. Government spent more money on petroleum subsidy, announced by Imran ahead of his ouster via no-confidence motion, than its entire expenditure. “If Imran Khan did not come to government to keep a lid on  prices of potatoes and onions, then why did he come to power,” Miftah quipped.