Dar terms PTI’s white paper ‘misleading, devoid of context’


Insists Pakistan will never default; Hopes economic situation will improve

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Wednesday, addressing a press conference, said that the country’s economic situation will improve by June 3, 2023.

He said that they were sure that the country will not default. “Pakistan was economically destroyed during the last four years. This is concerning situation. A notice of the situation should be taken,” he added.

He said that Imran Khan’s government was worse than the government of Yahya Khan. “The PTI has issued wrong figures about the PML-N tenure in the white paper,” he added.

The minister said that the PTI had told a lie that the interest rate was 7.5 percent. “The medicine prices were increased by 500 percent. During this year, we will collect the taxes amounting to Rs7,470 billion,” he hoped.

“The PTI presentation [white paper] was selective, misrepresented and economic indicators were misleading,” Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue, Senator Ishaq Dar said.

He was flanked by Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Prof Ahsan Iqbal, Federal Minister for Energy Khurram Dastgir Khan, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb and State Minister for Finance and Revenue Ayesha Ghaus Pasha.

The finance minister said the comparison made in the white paper were incorrect and devoid of economic context.

He said the economic situation since April 2022 was strongly influenced by the legacy that the new government borrowed from the previous regime, hence what did the Pakistan Democratic Movement led government receive that should be denominator for comparison.

However, he said, this context was missing from the PTI presentation while it had also ignored international economic situation, the commodities super-cycle, Russia-Ukraine war impacts and catastrophic floods in the country. He said that these realities should have been kept in mind for making fair analysis.

He said the International Monetary Fund had predicted that one-third of the globe would be in serious recessional problem in 2023 and Pakistan was no exception.

He said the fund had projected the growth at 2.7 per cent of GDP.

The incumbent government, he said, collected over Rs3,000 billion in remittances in six months. “Inflation rate was 4.7pc in 2018 and it had risen to 11pc until the end of the PTI s tenure,” he added.

Rebutting PTI’s claims, he said the white paper projected fiscal deficit at 7.6pc in 2018, however, it was 5.8pc in actual. “Economy was growing at 6.1pc in the PML-N’s tenure,” he claimed. The PTI, he said, left a circular debt of Rs2467 billion.

He maintained that the PTI claimed that prices of commodities would increase up to 200pc in the coming times, it was false.