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Monday June 24, 2024

May Allah have mercy on Pakistan, it's a tough time: Miftah Ismail

Economic recovery difficult task, sacrifices have to be made, says former finance minister

By Riaz Andy
March 04, 2023
Former finance minister Miftah Ismail. — PID
Former finance minister Miftah Ismail. — PID

KARACHI: Former federal minister Miftah Ismail termed the restoration of the economy in the country as "difficult" and hoped for God to have mercy on Pakistan.

Ismail was having an informal conversation with the media, when a journalist asked a question about the recovery of the economy on Saturday.

The former finance minister replied that economic recovery is "a very difficult task" and that sacrifices have to be made for it.

Addressing a seminar in Karachi, he said that under the 18th Amendment powers have been transferred to the provinces, but funds do not reach the lower levels.

He said that the federal government has to reduce its expenses and lamented that the provincial government does not collect taxes. 

He said that the situation of the economy is not due to mistakes of one year, but a collective results of 75 years.

Ismail said that 87% of Pakistanis do not get enough food as they should, and in districts where water is dirty, children are physically weak.

"Children living in the villages of Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and Punjab have been in crisis for 70 years," he said.

India will have IT exports worth 150 billion dollars this year, he said, elaborating that there are 23 IT campuses in India today. "Pakistan can't run the way it is currently," he commented.

After COVID-19, Pakistan got a lot of concessions, but not enough to solve its problems. "By giving money to the provinces, the federation is already in a loss," he said.

He said that the PTI government broke the International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreement. "The IMF agreement was broken by selling petrol and diesel at cheaper rates," he said, reiterating that he went to jail because of Khan sahib [former prime minister Imran Khan].

He further said that external debt aside, they are now also stuck in the clutches of local debt.

"The children of government schools are failing in science and mathematics, no policy will get development without education," he said. "We have no intention to form a party, we are in the government and know that nothing will happen without changing the system," he added.