- PTI leader says elections are best way forward to resume growth, end political crisis
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Asad Umar said on Thursday that foreign interference in the politics of Pakistan had halted economic improvement and early elections were the only way forward.
Addressing a press conference, he talked up how well the economy had done during PTI's rule and how foreign interference had come in the way.
'PTI created 8 million jobs during its rule'
The former minister for planning, development and special initiatives predicted that upcoming employment data will show that PTI government created 8 million jobs during its tenure.
He said that during PTI's first three years in government, 5.5 million jobs had been created. In comparison, PML-N created 5.7 million jobs from 2013 to 2018 tenure.
“PTI government created nearly the same amount of jobs in just 3 years despite the fact that the country’s economy witnessed a slowdown for 1-1.5 years on account of COVID-19,” he said.
“At the same time, India and other regional nations saw economic deterioration.”
Commenting on the latest numbers by the National Accounts Committee, which said GDP growth touched 5.97% in the current financial year ending June 2022, Umar said this was as a result of expansion in all sectors of the economy.
“The agriculture segment grew by 4.4% in 2021-22 and over the past two years, it expanded in the range of 3.5-4%,” he said.
“Half of Pakistan’s workforce is employed in the agriculture sector hence it impacts the economy and poverty rate. The sector’s performance during first three years of PTI’s tenure was great but this year, it performed exceptionally well.”
Umar said the output of sugarcane, rice, potato, and corn crops turned out to be a record high in the ongoing fiscal year.
The industrial sector grew 7.2% in 2021-22 while it expanded over 7% last year, Umar said, adding that this signals rapid industrial growth.
He said the services sector witnessed 6.2% growth and the economy of Pakistan was seeing a broad-based recovery. However, foreign interference brought this to a halt, according to Umar.
'Foreign interference struck the economy'
“Pakistan is paying the cost of this interference and resultantly, the rupee has soared past the 200 per dollar mark in the inter-bank market,” he said. “There is panic in the foreign exchange market which is driving volatility in the rupee for the past few days.”
According to him, agriculture, industries, jobs, exports, and remittances were all witnessing an uptrend until “foreign interference struck the economy.”
He detailed that the current economic scenario was bad for foreign investment because overseas investors tended to avoid uncertainty.
Umar regretted that Pakistan’s foreign debt had ballooned by Rs2.86 trillion ever since the no-confidence motion against former PM Imran Khan was submitted in the National Assembly.