Ishaq Dar, Pakistan’s finance minister, stated on Saturday that despite the opposition’s propaganda, Pakistan is moving in the right direction and won’t default.
“Pakistan will not default just because of the propaganda of the opposition (Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf). The country’s direction is right and it is not heading for default,” Mr Dar declared during his interaction with businessmen.
Imran Khan, the chairman of the PTI, and other PTI leaders have been forecasting that Pakistan will declare bankruptcy due to the “bad policies” of the coalition government led by the PML-N.
According to Mr. Khan, the economy of the nation can only be stabilized if a stable government is put in place following new elections and takes action.
Mr. Dar added that the opposition was hurting the nation’s “economic cause.” In addition, the opposition is attempting to discourage foreign investment in the nation by spreading allegations of corruption. He emphasized that the PTI must have a serious attitude and refrain from meddling in the national economy.
The minister regretted how he had been treated during the previous PML government. The way I was treated was terroristic. And my only transgression was addressing the nation’s economic problems. For five years, I was compelled to live in self-exile (in the UK),” Mr. Dar added.
He also criticized the PTI and PML-N governments for continuing the rupee devaluation policies. “We reduced the rupee’s worth. I made it clear under Shahid Khaqan Abbasi that the government could not stop the depreciation of our currency if a devaluation policy was followed, he stated.
Miftah Ismail, the former finance minister of Ishaq Dar’s party, received criticism for his policies. After obtaining bail in a NAB corruption reference and returning from London in September, Mr. Dar took over for Mr. Ismail and focused on stabilizing the local currency.
The rupee experienced an upward trend during his first few weeks in power, but recently it has been struggling. Its value versus the US dollar is currently over Rs230, and foreign cash, particularly the US dollar and Euro, is scarcely accessible on the open market.
Mr. Dar declared that further economic experimentation was not possible. He said that the government had made the decision to ban the smuggling of wheat on a war footing and said, “We are trying our best to stabilize the economy.
According to him, Pakistan should have become a member of the G-20 at the time the PML-N government’s term ended given the pace of its growth. Instead, “our economy is today rated 46th in the world,” he complained.
The finance minister recalled that in 2013 when they took over, many people said the country was about to default, but the PML-N government managed to avert that.
On the current challenges being faced by the PDM government, Mr Dar said, “We will have to work hard and focus on improving Pakistan’s macroeconomic indicators”.
“Here, the rich get their loans written off, but if [repayments of] loans of a few thousands of poor widows are late, their properties are seized,” he said.
Gohar Ijaz, a participating businessman, urged the government to reduce the interest rate. Turkey had kept the interest rate low despite inflation “why can’t we,” he asked.