Finance Minister Miftah Ismail has held the former prime minister Imran Khan-led government responsible for the current economic crisis in the country, saying that the “flight of dollar and rising inflation are the effects of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government’s flawed agreements with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).”
“If we get out of the clutches of the agreement Imran Khan inked with IMF, only then the rate of dollar will come down. Reviving economy that Imran left is not an easy task,” he said in a statement on Friday.
Miftah’s statement comes after the former premier said in a tweet that he had anticipated that if the "foreign conspiracy" against his government succeeded, Pakistan's economy would go "into a tailspin".
Commenting on the current state of the economy - the rupee hitting an all-time low and soaring inflation - the PTI Chairman blamed the situation on the newly-elected coalition government, saying it reflects the lowest confidence in the current "imported government".
However, Ismail countered this narrative saying that the dollar plunged and the stock exchange went up by 1,700 points when Shehbaz Sharif became the prime minister.
“We left the growth rate at 5.8% during the Nawaz Sharif-led government and inflation at a low of 3.4%. We will get out of this mess and the stock exchange will go up once again," he assured the masses, adding that Khan will have to answer the nation for his crimes.
The finance minister said that subsidies announced by the PTI government on fuel and electricity had put pressure on the economy.
“Fuel subsidies are estimated at Rs120 billion this month,” the minister said, adding that no government can bear the burden of such a large amount of subsidies.
“If government does not have money and it still gives subsidies then it has to borrow more,” he added.
The finance minister said that the PTI government took the biggest loan in country's history during his tenure, which was 80% of the total debt of 71 years.
“The foreign exchange reserves should be double the amount,” he said, adding that the PTI chairman created issues in relations with all the countries, including China and Saudi Arabia.
His statement comes as the country, with a widening trade deficit, sees a plunge in its foreign exchange reserves in recent months owing to imports and debt payments.
Foreign exchange reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) decreased another $190 million to $10.31 billion, said the central bank on Thursday, with the level staying at less than 1.5 months of import cover.