ISLAMABAD: Senator Ishaq Dar took the oath as federal minister at a special investiture ceremony held here at the Aiwan-e-Sadr on Wednesday.
President Dr Arif Alvi administered the oath of office to Senator Ishaq Dar at the ceremony, witnessed by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif. The oath-taking ceremony was attended by federal ministers, parliamentarians and senior government officials.
Talking to the media, after taking oath as Finance Minister Senator Muhammad Ishaq Dar said that his government would try its best to revive the economy, which has been critically damaged during the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government’s tenure.
He said regaining the deserving value of the country’s currency, bringing down inflation, and reducing interest rates were among the priorities. Earlier, President Dr. Arif Alvi administered the oath to Senator Ishaq Dar as Federal Minister.
Dar said, Pakistan was facing a severe economic crisis currently due to a quarter to four years of mismanagement by the PTI government, which had pushed the economy to a critical place, which even enemies could not have done. The minister lamented that the PTI government had not only damaged the economy but had wasted five precious years of the country and pushed the country behind 30 years.
However, Dar was optimistic that the country would be put back on a growth path as the Pakistan Muslim League (N) had a history of correcting the economy during crises in the past.
“As a nation we had challenges, we have faced them with success in the past,” he said while citing the examples of economic restriction following the nuclear tests of 1998 and declared macroeconomic instability of 2013.
“I will not make verbal promises only,” he said and reminded of the past history of PML which had left the government in 2018 with the lowest Consumer Price Index (CPI) based inflation of 4 percent, food inflation of 2 percent, the highest growth rate of 6.3 percent, highest reserves, the interest rate at 6.25 percent and stable exchange rate of Rs104.50 against the dollar. He said, this all was done despite three sit-ins during the period which had affected the growth rate, otherwise the figures could have touched 7.5 percent.
He said, had the country been allowed to grow at the same pace, it was poised to become the 18th largest economy by 2025-26 instead of 2030, leaving behind Italy and Canada. However, it was pushed to 54th position, he said. He said, becoming the 18th economy, the country could have enjoyed becoming part of the G-20 world premium club, however, everything was ruined.
To a question, the minister said that former finance minister, Miftah Ismail was the part of PML(N) economy team and had played a good role in saving the country from default. He said since the damages of around four years were very huge and could not be corrected in just six months.
He said the rupee has already started gaining its value adding that the country was facing imported inflation. The minister clarified that the case against him for not filing income returns for twenty years (1981-2001) was fake as he has been regularly filing the same for more than the last forty years.
He lamented that the culprits were roaming freely whereas the right persons were facing difficulties. He said, his passport was canceled by the PTI government, however, when the incumbent government issued him a passport two and a half months before, he decided to travel back to Pakistan.
He said the UK court and even Interpol have acquitted him of all charges leveled by PTI. He said that it was a need of time that the country is let to progress and prosper and that economic development is not checked for political interests.