Conditions of IMF to reduce prospects of eco growth: Ahsan

F.R. Report

ISLAMABAD: Senior leader of Pakistan Muslim League (N) and member of National Assembly Ahsan Iqbal Sunday expressed apprehension that the decision to fulfill conditions of International Monetary Fund (IMF) would drag millions of people below the poverty line and would reduce prospects of achieving economic growth.

Speaking in the National Assembly, he said the government had not achieve its revenue target which increased the budget deficit.

Ahsan said there was a shortfall of Rs 550 billion in tax collection during the ongoing fiscal year and the current expenditure rose by 20 percent.

“The gimmickry of selling buffaloes and vehicles can not control the budget deficit,” he remarked.

He said in the last five years, the PML-N government took loans of Rs 10,000 billion. But from 2013-2018, 12,000 megawatts of electricity was generated, 1750 kilometers of motorways including Lahore-Multan and Multan-Sukkur section of motorways were built.

“We developed infrastructure which was acknowledged by international financial institutions.”

The government should tell where it spent loans of Rs 5000 billion in last one year, he asked.

He said “The politics of allegations and abuses look good on container but the treasury benches in Parliament will have to show tolerance and responsibility.”

Ahsan said PML-N handed over a prospering and hopeful Pakistan to the PTI government, adding during their time the industry was growing and agriculture was getting revived, he added.

He said during their government, Pakistan grew at 5.8 percent,  Karachi stock exchange was the best in Asia and rupee was stable against the dollar.

Now the country’s stock exchange and currency had lost their value and inflation had risen, he noted.

He said with a growth rate of three percent this year it was difficult to create jobs for two million people.

He said PML-N government launched Vision 2025 with collaboration of chief minister of provinces and different stakeholders.

“We implemented the roadmap under the Vision 2025 and in 2017 PricewaterhouseCoopers, a leading firm which ranks economies, said that Pakistan would be among the 20 top economies by 2030 if it continued its growth momentum.”

He said during PML-N government growth rose from 3 percent to 5.8 percent, inflation came down to single digit, revenue doubled and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) increased from less than $ one billion to $ three billion, law and order considerably improved and Pakistan was set to attract foreign investment.

$28.5 billion of projects were materialized under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), he told.

He said after reports of international institutions about growing Pakistani economy, in 2017 some elements conspired against Pakistan to destabilize it.

He said the government had cut the public sector development programme by billions of rupees and reduced funds for different sectors of economy.

He said the first target of a budget should be to achieve economic growth, create job opportunities and make social investment to provide health and education facilities to the people.