ISLAMABAD: Underscoring the fact that the country was in a difficult economic situation, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail said on Tuesday that the coalition government had already taken some difficult steps and more were in the pipeline.
Speaking at a pre-budget conference in Islamabad, he said there would be further increase in the petroleum products’ (POL) prices. “When we took over, there was a budget deficit of Rs5, 600 billion,” Miftah said, adding, “Out of total Rs24, 000 billion borrowed by all the governments, the last government of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) had borrowed over Rs20, 000 billion.”
He claimed that 20 million people were pushed below poverty line under the PTI government, while six million were rendered jobless.
The finance minister also lashed out at the last government for announcing subsidy on the POL prices despite International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) insistence not to do so.