KARACHI: Former Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin said the economic performance of the PTI government was much better than that of the current coalition government which he says has completely failed to address the economic problems.
During a press conference with Muzzammil Aslam, PTI spokesperson for economic affairs here on Sunday at his residence in Karachi, Tarin called for the establishment of an interim government and assured his full support for the interim government to overcome the current economic crisis.
“With the poor performance of the current government, Pakistan is gradually heading towards bankruptcy and there is a need to immediately form a strong caretaker government to hold general elections. We will fully support the caretaker government, but not this government, to get the economy back on track,” he said.
Presenting the PTI government performance statistics, he said the country’s GDP growth is projected at 6% in FY22, remittances and exports have increased, current account and deficit budget declined and large-scale manufacturing growth nearly doubled during the term. of the PTI government.
Tarin said the current government failed to even negotiate with the IMF to release the next loan tranche to overcome the current crisis. He also criticized the recent import ban and said there was no need to impose an import ban on a number of goods.
Tarin says PTI government never promised IMF to end subsidies
In order to reduce the import bill, a ban should be imposed on two or four major import items such as cars and cell phones. The unexpected ban on imported items caused panic in the market. “We believe that the current measures will increase the smuggling of goods and that the demand for dollars will remain the same in the domestic market,” he added.
He said the PML-N government has also failed to curb inflation and despite the availability of raw materials, prices are rising sharply. “Before, we held weekly price monitoring meetings to control inflation; however, the current government has not held a price meeting for the past six weeks, which the hoarded mafia is taking advantage of by raising commodity prices,” he added.
The former finance minister said that the current government’s budget estimate for the next fiscal year is around Rs 7.2 trillion while PTI projected a budget of over Rs 8 trillion for FY23.
He said health facilities worth Rs 1 million through health card, Kamyab Nojawan scheme for entrepreneurs and Ahsas scheme for poor families were some of the success stories of social protection schemes launched by the PTI government.
Tarin informed that central government debt was 25.042 trillion rupees in 2018 and now stands at 42.994 trillion rupees and debt as a percentage of GDP has remained stable at 64%. While tax refunds increased by 109% to 322.6 billion rupees in March 2022 from 154.7 billion rupees in August 2018.
Production of almost all crops increased and wheat production increased by 9 percent to 26.4 million metric tons, with a 25 percent growth, rice production jumped to 9.3 million tons metric tons, corn production increased by 64 percent to 10.6 million metric tons, sugar cane production increased by 83.3 million metric tons to 88.8 million metric tons and sugar production increased by 15 percent to 7.5 million tonnes in FY22.
He said that significant depreciations of the Pakistani rupee had been recorded under the tenure of the PML-N and PPP governments. The exchange rate was Rs 61 in 2008, Rs 122 in 2018 and Rs 178 in March 2022, he said.
During the tenure of the PTI government, exports jumped 30% to $32 billion (forecast) in FY22 and remittances jumped 60% to $31.3 billion (forecast) in FY22 Imports rose 20% due to commodity super cycle, despite Covid-19 vaccine import and rising commodity prices pushing up import bill, current account deficit fell to $15 in FY22 from $19.2 billion in FY18. Current account percentage of GDP was -4% in March 2022 from -5.8% in August 2018.
Tarin further informed that between August 2018 and March 2022, tax collection increased by 60% to Rs 6.1 trillion, the country’s foreign exchange reserves increased by 77% to Rs 11.42 trillion. dollars in March 2022, compared to 9.8 billion dollars in August 2018.
The size of GDP increased by 21% to $383 billion or 67 trillion rupees in March 2022 from $317 billion or 39 trillion rupees in August 2018. Per capita income increased from 1,768 to $1,798. On the external debt stock side, a 135 percent improvement in net debt accumulation and external debt stood at 128.9 billion U.S. dollars, he said.
Tarin said that due to the instability in the country, the stock market is in continuous decline as investors withdraw their investments, while relevant officers and heads of government departments are sacked by the current government.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022