Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif Tuesday said that they had inherited severe economic crises from the previous government, but with hard work and dedication, the collation government would steer the country out of the current challenges.
Speaking to media after chairing a meeting of the federal cabinet, the prime minister, in an apparent reference to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government, said that it had left behind a backlog of worst and faulty economic policies, tainted with poor performance.
Criticizing his predecessors, he said the previous government reduced petroleum prices at the time of their exit from power corridors which smack of conspiracy and based upon ill-will.
“If they had any concerns and felt pains for the people, they ought to leave behind a precedent of serving the masses by providing any relief, so that it can be said that they had worked for the people,” the prime minister regretted.
The prime minister said that these were hard times, and they had taken difficult and bold decisions and hinted that if required in future, they would take such like steps for the economic turnaround.
“We will not budge from taking the necessary steps to set country’s economy on the right track with hard work and nation’s prayers,” he stressed.
The coalition government was determined to steer the country out of the current economic crises by striving day and night.
Expressing his optimism, the prime minister said it was his strong conviction that the good times were in store for the country.
About the International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreement, the prime minister observed that the previous PTI’s government had promised to increase prices and impose taxes, but they retracted and violated the pact which they ought to abide by.
He said that due to such ploys by the previous government, today, the country was facing difficulty with the IMF.
He also mentioned that global economic situation was complicated as the prices of petrol and grains were spiraling.
The government had decided to increase prices of petroleum products with heavy heart, he said, adding, under a decision in the budget, about 70 million people were being provided financial support worth millions of rupees through activation of a helpline.
The prime minister further explained that in the budget, they had decided to divert burden from the poor and levy tax upon the wealthy people.
In addition Finance Minister Miftah Ismail asserted that the increase in prices of petroleum products has nothing to do with International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) conditions. Miftah Ismail expressed his views while briefing the federal cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif. During the meeting, he rejected the notion by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) that fuel prices were increased to revive IMF programme.
The federal minister said that the global lender had not demanded to increase the fuel prices, but it was a result of global inflation.
He claimed that the Budget 2022-23 was the first in the country’s history that provided relief to the poor and taxed the rich. Meanwhile, Miftah said that the next round of talks with the Fund will be held today (Tuesday) and tomorrow.