Govt blames PTI regime’s policies for economic woes

News Desk
Saturday, May 14, 2022

Ag Agencies

ISLAMABAD: The government on Friday blamed the “bad” policies of “inefficient” PTI regime for the economic instability in the country, as rupee shed more value against dollar amid uncertainty over the resumption of IMF loan programme and shrinking foreign exchange reserves.

Expressing his confidence that the country would get out of the “economic mess” created by the PTI govt, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail blamed ex-PM Imran Khan’s deal with the IMF and its violation as the reason for rising inflation, and said subsidy on petrol had put a strain on economy.

Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb said the PTI regime had plunged the country in the quagmire of problems, as ex-premier Imran Khan termed the declining value of rupee an indication of a lack of public confidence in the new government.

Rupee’s slide against dollar continued on Friday as it fell by nearly Re1 in the interbank market and closed at Rs192.53 with a loss of Rs0.76 or 0.4 per cent after trading at Rs193 during intraday trading.

Marriyum said Imran Khan was putting the country’s economy and people’s future at stake for political purposes which was tantamount to treason, adding the PTI had plunged the country in the quagmire of problems.

Reacting to PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry’s statement, she further said ex-premier Khan was squarely responsible for US dollar’s historic flight against the Pakistani rupee. She said: “Imran Khan, who was the reason behind rising inflation, is now calling out the new government because of it. Imran Sahib don’t make noise, instead, give an account for the economic catastrophe that you have created.”

Marriyum said the people faced “economic terrorism” in the country due to “incompetent” government of Imran Khan and “cartels and mafia raj” for nearly four years.

“Imran sahib is responsible for difficult decisions being taken now,” she said, adding the PTI chairman had (once again) climbed on container to cover up his anti-people economic crimes. Marriyum said it was ironic that Imran Khan was making noise about inflation. She advised Imran Khan instead of making hue and cry, he should hold himself accountable for inflation and economic crisis.

PTI Chairman Imran Khan on Friday raised alarm over the declining value of rupee and stock market and hike in inflation and interest rates and said it reflected the lowest ever confidence in “imported” government.

Taking to Twitter, PTI chairman Imran Khan highlighted that the rupee was at an all-time low of Rs193 [per dollar] (from Rs178 per dollar on March 8); interest rates at 15% highest since 1998; stock market down 3,000 points or 6.4%; stock market lost Rs604 billion capitalisation; inflation 13.4% — highest since January 2020. “Reflects lowest ever confidence in imported government,” he wrote. “The market [is] awaiting policy [and] action, which [the] imported government has failed to provide. Both myself [and] Shaukat Tareen had warned the ‘neutrals’ that if conspiracy succeeded our fragile economic recovery would go into a tailspin. That is what has now happened,” he added.

Former information minister Fawad Chaudhry, meanwhile, criticised the new government for ignoring the economic crisis. “While the so-called government leaders are sitting in London, the US dollar has surpassed 193 […] this drama should end and the government should announce elections,” he wrote.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail on Friday blamed PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and its violation as the reason for the rise in inflation, Geo News reported.

Berating the PTI-led government, the finance minister, in a statement, said the subsidy on petrol had put a strain on Pakistan’s economy. “There has been a loss of Rs120 billion this month and no government can bear such a huge deficit,” he said. He added it was not an easy task to stabilise the economy that Imran Khan had left behind in shambles. “There is a difference between the petrol prices in the world market and the selling price in Pakistan,” added Ismail.

The finance minister said the petrol subsidies were the reason for the rise in inflation and turmoil in the market. “If the government gives subsidies without having money, then it has to take more loans, increasing the interest rates, and putting pressure on the rupee,” he said. The PML-N leader said the former premier took the “biggest loan in the country’s history during his tenure, which was 80 per cent of the total debt of 71 years.

“Khan borrowed Rs20,000 billion,” he said, adding Khan left Rs10.4 billion in the foreign exchange reserves which were equivalent to 45 days of imports. “The foreign exchange reserves should be double the amount,” he said, adding the PTI chairman created issues in relations with all the countries, including China and Saudi Arabia.

Praising the incumbent government, the PML-N leader said the dollar plunged when Shehbaz Sharif became the prime minister and the stock exchange increased to 1,700 points. “We left the growth rate at 5.8 per cent during the Nawaz Sharif-led government and inflation at a low of 3.4 per cent. We will get out of this mess and the stock exchange will go up once again,” he assured the masses, adding Khan will have to answer the nation for his crimes.