GUJRANWALA: Federal Minister for Energy Engineer Khurram Dastgir said on Saturday that former premier Imran Khan made a horrifying agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 2019, and then violated it in an appalling manner, which forced the incumbent coalition government to set aside a huge amount of Rs 7,000 billion for payment of foreign loans.
Addressing a press briefing at GEPCO headquarters, he said: “Had the PTI chairman not signed such agreements and acquired loans, the repayment amount would have been restricted to Rs 3,000 billion, instead of Rs 7,000 billion.” The minister regretted that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project had been paralszed during the Imran Khan government, which inflicted huge losses on the nation. He said that work on Thar coal project was also halted, adding that cheaper electricity could have been generated if work on project had not been stopped. He said a big chunk of amount was repaid in the budget during the tenure of PTI government.
Khurram Dastgir said Imran Khan spoiled relations with China, Turkey, the USA and Saudi Arabia. Even after passage of 14 months, the friendly countries were not ready to trust the Pakistan government, he complained. The energy minister said the Shehbaz Sharif-led coalition government got restarted work on CPEC.
Regarding elections, he said that decision on elections would be made by the ruling coalition Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) as per the Constitution. He said an amount had also been set aside in the budget for elections. The minister said that the tenure of National Assembly would complete on August 12, adding that if the assembly would be dissolved automatically on completion of its tenure, then elections would be held in 60 days. And if the prime minister would dissolve the assembly a day before its tenure completion, then the elections would be held in 90 days, the minister explained. However, he added, till date, there was planning for holding election on November 10.
Khurram Dastgir said the government would provide Rs 68 billion to farmers of Balochistan for installation of tube-wells. Similarly, Rs 70 billion would be allocated for electricity consumers in Azad Jammu & Kashmir this year,while a relief of Rs 80 billion would be given the next year. He said a relief package of Rs 39 billion would be given to the people of FATA.