PML-N’s poor economic policies caused $20bn loss: Tarin
ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin has said the prevailing economic challenges were the consequences of the PML-N government’s poor economic management which caused $20 billion loss to the national economy.
Addressing a virtual press conference flanked by Minister for Energy and Petroleum Hammad Azhar and Minister for Industries and Production Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar, he said the previous PML-N government had shown artificial economic growth by borrowing heavily and had only increased revenue growth by only 2.5 percent.
He said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government increased revenue by 20 percent in every fiscal year and would take it to Rs 7,000 billion in the coming years. He said the PTI government inherited an economy in shambles, with high inflation and massive circular debt due to bad decisions of the PML-N regime.
Tarin said the government had to approach the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to support the deteriorated economy and accept tough conditions such as high power tariffs.
He said the government’s focus was on providing relief to the masses in the upcoming budget 2021-22 and it has been conveyed to the IMF in recent talks that the electricity and gas prices would not be increased.
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He said former finance minister Miftah Ismail of the PML-N, during his tenure, had raised the petroleum development levy up to Rs 30, while the present government had reduced it. Today the circular debt was declining and the government would take more steps to further reduce it, he added.
Tarin said the government was fully focused on the power sector to overcome the main challenge of circular debt. Its main priority was to control the electricity prices for providing maximum relief to both the domestic and industrial consumers.
He said the measures adopted by the government since its inception had boosted the revenue collection, which had crossed the Rs4 trillion benchmark during the current fiscal year now, which was a historic achievement, and it would hopefully rise to around Rs5.8 trillion during the next financial year.
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The increased revenue collection would help decrease the fiscal deficit and provide more resources for the country’s economic development, he added.
The minister said the government would not impose any new tax in the upcoming budget, rather it would broaden the tax base through the use of technology.
Tarin said the fiscal year 2021-22 would be a year of growth not only for the country but also for the deprived classes of society as it would encompass provision of better facilities of education, health and employment.
The minister said it was the government’s top priority to alleviate poverty, by promoting skills development practices among 4 million families, besides providing them housing facilities and health cards. Likewise, the government would announce steps to make the industry sector more efficient to enhance exports, he added.