Friday March 31, 2023

Miftah Ismail terms reduction in petrol prices ‘reckless’ decision

By News Desk
October 03, 2022

KARACHI: Former finance minister Miftah Ismail on Sunday termed the government’s decision to not increase the petroleum development levy (PDL) this month without International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) approval, ‘reckless,’ but clarified that what the PTI did with the ‘economy was unforgivable.’

Responding to PTI leader Shaukat Tarin on Twitter, Miftah reminded the then PTI’s finance minister that his government had violated the agreement it had signed with the IMF by slashing the petrol prices ahead of the no-confidence vote. “You agreed to increase sales tax to 17 percent but reduced it to zero. You agreed to raise petrol levy every month by Rs4 to Rs30 but brought it to zero. You agreed to not give amnesty but gave one anyway,” said the Miftah.

He added that the PTI government gave an ‘unfunded, unsustainable subsidy on petrol.’ He said the PTI nearly bankrupted Pakistan, however, when he took over and went to the IMF, the country was ‘saved’ from default. “Not increasing PDL this month without the IMF approval is reckless, but what the PTI did with the economy was unforgivable,” said Miftah on the recent cut in prices announced by incumbent Finance Minister Ishaq Dar.

Tarin had tweeted screenshots of tickers related to Miftah on the return of Dar and a drop in petrol prices. The PTI leader said the Imran Khan-led government was ‘blamed for violating IMF conditions.’

He further claimed that Miftah had said the incumbent government ‘did not wait to get clearance from the MD IMF before announcing the fuel prices.’ “Clear double speak,” said Tarin.Earlier this week, Dar slashed the price of petrol by Rs12.63 per litre, giving massive relief to the inflation-stricken people of the country, while both the PTI and PML-N leaders were discussing the recent drop in petrol prices. Dar said the decision to reduce the petroleum prices has been taken after consultation with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.