April 12, 2022 (MLN): While slamming the ousted PTI-led government for pushing the country toward economic turmoil, ex-finance minister and PML-N leader Miftah Ismail said that Pakistan’s fiscal deficit will hit a record high level of Rs5,600 billion at the end of the ongoing fiscal year.
“And if supplementary grants of Rs800 billion were included, the total amount would reach Rs6400,” he added.
Addressing a press conference at his residence, Miftah Ismail said that during the PML-N period of five years, the average deficit was Rs1,600 billion per annum.
He said that the trade deficit would reach a record high in FY22 as imports will be recorded at around $75 billion.
Due to this, the current account deficit this year would be the second-highest in the history, he said, adding that due to the rising current account deficit, foreign exchange reserves are declining. “Last month alone, forex reserves declined by $5 billion, which is the largest single decrease in foreign exchange reserves in the history of Pakistan.”
With regards to fuel prices, he informed that the government has not decided yet to increase the petroleum prices but the decision would be taken after reviewing the summary issued by Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA).
On the amnesty scheme, he said that there was no need for amnesty for the industrial sector as it was against the conditions agreed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Amnesty should be given on the previous earnings, while the previous government has given amnesty to future earnings, he mentioned.
When asked whether the current government would take measures to reduce the inflation rate in the country, Miftah Ismail pointed out that the government could not control the inflation immediately due to the bad policies of the previous government.
“First we will negotiate with the IMF to convince them to ease out the tough conditions so that the government could provide relief to the masses,” he added.
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