Real freedom is economic self-reliance: Miftah

F.P. Report

KARACHI: Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue, Miftah Ismail on Saturday said real freedom means economic self-reliance, without which the concept of freedom and self-reliance is not achieved.

The PTI government took 79% external debt out of the total debt taken in the country’s history, he said. The federal minister said this in a live press conference at Pakistan Television. The finance minister said, during the PTI tenure Pakistan’s imports jumped up to US$80 billion while the trade deficit reached at $48 billion, which is a record in the country’s history.

Miftah wondered how PTI could talk about real freedom without achieving economic self-sufficiency. He said that former finance minister Shaukat Tarin’s press conference differs from the facts.

Miftah said that the former PTI government was leading the country towards default and the Muslim League government under the leadership of Prime Minister, Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif saved it country from bankruptcy.

The minister said “we have saved the country from a situation like Sri Lanka, where petrol and gas are blacking out”. He said that PTI made agreements with the IMF to make electricity and oil more expensive, the effect of which continued even during our government’s tenure.

PTI government raised Rs 19,000 billion rupees in loans during their tenure, he added. The minister criticized the role of PTI and said that the country was passing through a critical juncture after floods while the PTI were busy in their politics altering national interest.

Miftah said that former Prime Minister Imran Khan did not fulfill any of his promise including construction of 5 million houses. The finance minister maintained that the government was distributing Rs 25,000 to 4 million families each in the flood hit areas which will cost Rs. 70 billion overall. He said that cotton, sugarcane and date crops had been destroyed in Sindh province.

He said that the government will import tomatoes and onions from Turkiye and Afghanistan adding that the inflation will be controlled in the next couple of months. Miftah Ismail said that PTI was investing $25,000 per month for lobbying which is against the national interest in the current situation.