Miftah: Real freedom is economic self-reliance

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Miftah taxes

Finance Minister Miftah Ismail on Saturday urged Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leaders to refrain from continuing to lie about the plans to “derail the International Monetary Fund programme.”

He said this while addressing the media in Karachi. “Did you not tell IMF that the price of petrol will be increased after the no-confidence motion is defeated,” Miftah questioned Shaukat Tarin and ex-prime minister Imran Khan.

He claimed to know everything about the backdoor dealings of PTI with the IMF. “Was it not your voice on the leaked phone call,” the finance minister asked his former counterpart.

The finance czar also cited how an IMF official’s name was also taken during the phone call between Tarin and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa minister Taimur Jhagra. “Stop trying to make a fool out of everyone,” he said.

Miftah went on to say that Imran had come to power with the hope of eradicating corruption but he left the country in a total debt of 19 trillion rupees.

Miftah Ismail said that it was the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf that signed the agreement to increase petroleum prices and taxes on the salaried class.

Miftah said that Shoukat Tarin’s commentary on financial issues is beyond understanding. Tarin and the party wanted to bankrupt Pakistan, he added.

He added that it was the PTI which agreed to raise petroleum prices and increase tax on the working class in the IMF deal. The PTI claimed to eliminate IMF from Pakistan, but came closer to eliminating Pakistan instead, he added.

The Finance Minister questioned the PTI leader that he claimed to lessen the country’s debt then how did he manage to increase it? He added that people were wandering for sugar bags and petroleum in your tenure.

Miftah added that the country has been devastated by floods as 60 % of the population has been affected. The government is providing affected families Rs25,000, he said.

He added that the cotton crop in Sindh had been badly affected due to rainfall and floods. How many times did Imran Khan visit flood-affected areas? he questioned.

Miftah added that Imran demands us to buy oil from Russia, why did not he do it during his tenure? Has Pakistan ever purchased oil from Russia? he questioned the PTI Chief.

He added that the economy has become stable now, but the inflation rates are high. The government has started importing onion from Afghanistan, and we will have to import cotton this year, he added.

Miftah said real freedom means economic self-reliance, without which the concept of freedom and self-reliance is not achieved.

He said the PTI government took 79% of the external debt out of the total debt taken in the country’s history, he said. The federal minister said this in a live press conference on Pakistan Television.

The finance minister said, during the PTI tenure, Pakistan’s imports jumped up to US$80 billion while the trade deficit reached $48 billion, which is a record in the country’s history.

Miftah wondered how PTI could talk about real freedom without achieving economic self-sufficiency. He said that former finance minister Shaukat Tarin’s press conference differs from the facts.

The minister said “we have saved the country from a situation like Sri Lanka, where petrol and gas are blacking out”.

Miftah said that former Prime Minister Imran Khan did not fulfil any of his promises, including the construction of 5 million houses.

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