Govt vows to defeat ‘PTI’s attempt to sabotage IMF programme’; KP govt denies allegations

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PTI IMF

The coalition government on Friday, in a joint statement, stated that the country was bracing for a devastating situation caused by floods, but at this difficult stage, the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa indulged in politics and refused to implement the condition laid down in the agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The allied parties said the letter of the finance minister of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government to Minister for Finance Miftah Ismail was a ploy to drown Pakistan in the flood of economic crisis.

They said that it was Imran Khan who signed the agreement with IMF on tough conditions and tied down the hands and feet of the Pakistani economy. Then Imran Khan himself violated the agreement and got the programme suspended and laid landmines in the foundation of the Pakistan economy by giving subsidies so that Pakistan could economically default.

In the statement, the coalition partners said the government was compelled to take very determined and difficult decisions to save Pakistan from default.

After persistent efforts for four months, the value of the rupee and the economic condition started to improve.

Although the people were still drowning in the four years of economic disaster and the deluge of inflation caused by Imran Khan, they asserted.

They said the government of Pakistan Tehreek I Insaf (PTI) knew that the IMF would hold its board meeting on August 29 to revive the economic programme of Pakistan.

At this time, the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa took a step with bad intentions. This action proved that a foreign-aided party was bent on pursuing an agenda for the economic destruction of Pakistan, adding, “Like before, we will defeat this conspiracy as well and will defend the economic sovereignty of Pakistan.”

The allies said the government was fully focused and giving priority to the rescue and relief of the flood affectees. “As at this time assistance and rehabilitation of the flood affectees should be a national priority. We will not let the operation, of saving lives of flood affectees and mitigation of their difficulties, fall prey to politics.”

PTI’s response

Meanwhile, Jhagra said in a tweet that he wrote the letter only to the finance minister. Jhagra said the federal government had committed to resolving major financial issues in the last meeting held on July 6, 2021.

Taimur said the federal government should also commit to immediately engaging and resolving other financial issues with the KP government. These include, but are not limited to, clearing outstanding liabilities to the Pakhtunkhwa Energy Development Organization (PEDO), resolving the issues of energy wheeling, resolving the issue of WACOG, and the availability of natural gas to the province in line with Article 158, financing of PESCO to develop transmission and distribution infrastructure in the province; and the commitment of the federal government to not delay execution of provincially funded PESCO and TESCO projects, and not substituting the Federal Excise Duty with the Petroleum levy without provincial consent, as this amounts to unilaterally reducing the size of provincial transfers from the total quantum of federal collections.

“We estimate that the overall impact of not resolving these issues is actually to create an Rs100 billion unfunded liability in the KP budget. Now, to make the situation even more challenging, the monsoonal flooding that we are currently facing, as we speak has wreaked destruction in Swat, DI Khan, and Tank, but that may over the next few hours and days make the damage from this year’s flooding greater than the super-floods of 2010”, he said.

Jhagra said the cost in terms of rescue, relief, rehabilitation, and building back was likely to run into tens of billions. In these conditions and without resolving the issues highlighted previously, for the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to leave a surplus will be next to impossible, he concluded.

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