Wednesday, June 22, 2022
ISLAMABAD: Former finance minister and senior PTI leader Shaukat Tarin Wednesday said that the coalition government "should have purchased cheap oil from Russia" as the previous Imran Khan-led government had already written a letter in this regard.
Addressing a press conference flanked by his former spokesperson Muzzamil Aslam, Tarin lamented that the matter with Russia "was not taken forward".
“They have taken a step back into purana Pakistan and haven’t taken any concrete decisions in the last six weeks,” he said, highlighting that amid the "indecisiveness", the rupee lost its value against the US dollar.
"Our [PTI government's] approach was progressive while theirs is in line with purana Pakistan," he said.
Endorsing former prime minister Imran Khan’s stance regarding an alleged “foreign conspiracy”, Tarin claimed that soon everybody will know whose hand is behind the economic instability.
“The government is taking one step forward and two backwards,” Tarin said, criticising them for their "poor management".
Regarding the broad agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme, the PTI leaders said that the federal budget announced by Finance Minister Miftah Ismail on June 10 was a "mere formality" with a “5.5% growth rate and provisional surplus of Rs800 billion”.
The former finance minister warned that the price of electricity will increase to unprecedented levels, highlighting that inflation has surged to 28% and is expected to increase to up to 35-40% as the government plans to impose Rs50 in petroleum levy.
Commenting on the tax proposals given in the finance bill, Tarin maintained that the government "isn’t taking measures" to increase the tax net and is instead "burdening the existing taxpayers".
"How can people invest in such conditions? Markets are confused and are unwilling to trust the government," he pointed out.
“The reason behind the alliance of all major political parties, except PTI, to form a government was an amendment in National Accountability Bureau (NAB) bill,” he claimed, questioning why the PTI was removed from power.
Tarin reiterated that "it is not late" and "elections should be called afresh immediately".
Speaking on the occasion, Muzzammil Aslam said that the coalition government accused PTI leaders of signing an agreement with the IMF due to which prices increased in the country.
He said that the PTI government agreed to increase electricity prices by Rs5 per unit while the coalition government increased the rates by Rs8 per unit.
“We are hoping and praying that the coalition government manages to reach a staff-level agreement with the IMF,” Aslam said, emphasising that a supply chain crisis has struck Pakistan