September 08 , 2017
Kaptaan keen to meet PML-N’s ‘tair-e-lahuti’
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Thursday slammed the PML-N for what he called four years of economic misrule.
At a press conference, Kaptaan said that Pakistan’s economy has never been worse than it is today.
Flanked by PTI whiz Asad Umar, the skipper accused Finance Minister Ishaq Dar of being Pakistan’s economic hit man and said that the country’s economic performance during the PML-N era had been worse as compared to the eras of former presidents Pervez Musharraf and Asif Zardari.
The PTI leaders said that although the government claims the economy is progressing, investment is falling whereas debt is on the rise. They pointed out various economic indicators during a slideshow which they said was based on the government’s own data.
Asad accused Dar of attempting to invent new economics.
“Investments have always fallen whenever Nawaz Sharif has come into power... and this time they are even lower than Zardari’s era despite China-Pakistan Economic Corridor investments,” Umar said.
He claimed that a record Rs 10.8 trillion had been borrowed by the PML-N in its term, which he said was considerably higher than the Rs 8 trillion borrowed during the PPP’s five-year rule, and the approximate figure of Rs 2.2 trillion borrowed under Musharraf.
Umar added that a large chunk of the borrowing is external debt.
“Nawaz Sharif spent Rs 2.7 million per day on foreign trips courting investment,” Kaptaan said. However, investment decreased during the PML-N’s term, he added.
“Investors neither from inside nor outside the country are investing because of rampant corruption,” he added.
“This is resulting in an increase in unemployment,” he said.
“Our exports have gone down from $25 billion to $21 billion, while exports in India and Bangladesh have increased in the same period,” Asad said.
A slide showed reporters appeared to show only a slight increase in India’s exports between 2013 and 2017, whereas Bangladesh’s exports registered approximately $8 billion growth over the period.
Pointing to an alarming current account deficit and depletion of foreign exchange reserves, the PTI whiz said Pakistan the country was moving towards another bailout package.
Tax reserves, Asad said, were only increasing on the back of increased indirect taxes while direct taxes had registered a decline.
“It is difficult for them to collect taxes from the rich because they have put a corrupt person in charge of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR),” Kaptaan said.
“They have done this to protect their own money but other powerful people also benefit from it,” he added.
The two leaders added that the country had the most expensive electricity and gas in the region, with circular debt also on the rise.
Although the PPP left Rs 480 billion in circular debt which was paid off by the PML-N within the first few weeks of its tenure, the figures have again crossed Rs 400 billion, the PTI leaders claimed.
Asad said that the power shortfall has increased to over 6,000 megawatts despite tall claims by the government.