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Only 'tough decisions' can solve Pakistan's economic woes: Imran Khan

The country should pay attention to traders instead of going to IMF, says Khan

By Web Desk
January 03, 2023
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan addresses the launch of PTI’s white paper via video link in Lahore on January 3, 2023. — YouTube/PTI
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan addresses the launch of PTI’s white paper via video link in Lahore on January 3, 2023. — YouTube/PTI

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan said Tuesday that “tough decisions” should be taken by the new government that comes through the nation's mandate as the country's economic condition is in turmoil.

While addressing the launch of PTI’s white paper via video link, the PTI chief said: "Whichever new government comes with people's mandate should take tough decisions. This [PDM] government doesn't have the moral authority to take tough decisions.”

The former prime minister's comments come against a backdrop of an impending financial crisis as default risk looms over Pakistan, the rupee continues to depreciate against the US dollar, and forex reserves plunge to record lows — covering merely a month's imports.

Financial pundits have already voiced concerns since the ouster of the previous government and stressed that until the country does not see political stability, its financial side will remain vulnerable.

As a result of the prevailing financial crisis, the federal government has decided to close markets and malls by 8:30pm and save around Rs62 billion per annum — but traders have once again rejected the idea.

Meanwhile, the former premier lamented the country’s economic state highlighting the increase in inflation.

“Prices of flour, electricity, petroleum products and food items have all increased. Today, the country’s industries are shutting down,” Khan said, highlighting that the nation is afraid of seeing the country’s direction.

He claimed that around 750,000 Pakistanis have left the country in the last eight months. Khan also stressed the need for increasing the country’s exports.

"For 30 to 40 years, we did not consider increasing exports. Pakistan won’t be able to stand on its feet for as long as the exports don’t increase. When I met exporters, they informed me about the obstacles,” the PTI chairman revealed.

Circling back to his demand for elections in the country, the former prime minister said: “The economy is linked to politics. It cannot improve without political stability.”

Advising the ruling government in the Centre about its decisions regarding the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Imran Khan said that approaching the IMF raises the issue of autonomy.

“When going to the IMF, one has to adhere to their orders. You cannot make your own decisions. Instead of going to the IMF, attention should be paid to exporters,” he added.

Talking about his government’s performance in line with managing the economy, the PTI chairman said that growth rate was 5.7% to 6% in his tenure and the statistics were presented in the cabinet.

“When the growth rate statistics were presented before the court, the members were shocked. It was the best performance in Pakistan’s history,” the ousted premier said, further claiming to have created 5,500,000 jobs in the country.

He also spoke about his government's efforts to include taxpayers in the system in collaboration with the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA), and its decision to refrain from increasing the prices of petroleum products.

Globally, Khan said, the prices of edible oil and coal increased; however, his government still kept it low.

“We developed the Ravi City plan to save Lahore in an attempt to bring investment from overseas Pakistanis. We tried to bring foreign investment to increase our servers,” he shared when speaking during his address.

Highlighting the economic progress during his party’s rule up until April last year, the ousted PM claimed that owners of textile industries spoke about not finding enough workers. He also alleged propaganda of “destroying the country” against his government.