close
Advertisement
Can't connect right now! retry

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!
February 18, 2021

PTI’s economic performance disastrous, says Miftah

Top Story

February 18, 2021

LAHORE: PML N Central Leader and former federal finance minister Miftah Ismail on Wednesday termed the PTI’s economic performance disastrous, saying the government had added thousands of billions in debt without paying back a single penny of debt.

In a video message, Miftah said the PTI was only raising expenses, deficit and debt on the country in the worst manner imaginable. He pointed out that the PTI took loans from Rs25,000 billion to Rs36,000 in two years while the tax revenue remained stuck at the same point in real terms. He said the PTI’s drastic cut in the development budget resulted in zero infrastructural development, no new plans and zero relief to the nation. In two and a half years, the PTI has plunged the country into a quagmire of debt and this government’s claim of borrowing to repay the loan is a blatant lie. They only re-roll the loan. Instead of repaying the loan, the PTI gave the bond in exchange for a bond that is, giving a new date for repaying the loan. Imran Khan did not repay the loan to Saudi Arabia out of his own pocket but from China, he added.

“When the PML-N came to power in 2013, it had a debt of Rs14,000 billion, including both external and internal debt. One month after the departure of the PML-N government, the total debt was Rs24,952.9 billion or about 25,000 billion. The PML-N borrowed Rs10,600 billion in five years. With this amount, the PML-N carried out numerous other development works, including building power plants. Whereas, the PTI borrowed more than Rs11,400 billion in the first two initial years alone without initiating a single development project. Miftah said in June 2020, Pakistan’s debt shot from Rs25,000 billion to Rs36,400 billion. He reminded that during the PML-N era, external debt and liabilities were Rs11,575 billion while under the PTI regime, they have reached Rs18,969 billion in just two years, showing a loss of Rs7,500 billion. He also compared the fact that during the PML-N era, the loan was around $70 billion, which has now risen under the PTI to $80 billion.

Miftah said PTI had increased Pakistan’s debt by 40 percent in just two years. This, he said, means that PTI alone took almost the same amount of loan that all the previous governments took collectively over the past 75 years. He warned that if the government’s borrowing rate remains the same, the country already in crisis will face even graver problems. He expressed alarm over the fact that even in terms of GDP, the PTI government is increasing the national debt at an extremely rapid rate.

“The debt was 65 percent of GDP when PML-N came to power and 72 percent on completion of its tenure. But during the PTI tenure, the debt-to-GDP ratio has risen to a staggering 85 percent, with the debt increasing by 15 percent in just two years. During the PML-N era, the debt was increasing at 2 percent per annum, while the PTI is increasing that a rapid rate of 8 percent, which is a 400 percent increase,” he said. He explained that PTI’s claim is inappropriate and false that development projects have left debt. The toll tax on these motorways, highways, airports and power plants is taken to repay the loan, he said. Miftah said when PML-N came to power, the tax capacity was so low that only Rs1,900 billion was being collected in taxes. But PML-N increased that to Rs3,850 billion. He questioned if the PTI increased the national income by any means.