ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue, Miftah Ismail said here on Thursday that by taking tough decisions, the incumbent government had saved Pakistan from default as the previous regime led by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf had pushed it to the verge of bankruptcy.
“It is our responsibility to save Pakistan from default. And with the grace of Allah, we did it and can say now that Pakistan was saved from default,” the minister said while addressing a press conference along with Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Marriyum Aurangzeb here. He said, the government saved the country from bankruptcy by increasing diesel and petrol prices and by remaining continuously engaged with International Monetary Fund (IMF).
He said, decision to increase petroleum products’ prices was not easy one but the government had to take it to save the country. He said that Pakistan was now returning to better financial position citing the increasing valuation of rupee against dollar and performance of Pakistan Stock Exchange as examples of the progress. The minister said that IMF itself, through a press release said that it had made important progress in negotiations with Pakistan on budgetary measures for fiscal year 2022-23. The minister said that government had reached to an understanding with IMF on budget measures.
The minister said that this was progressive and historic budget in a way that it did not increase indirect taxes nor did it propose taxes on commodities or consumption, commonly done by governments to improve collection. He said, unlike PTI government that used to impose taxes on consumption that hit the poor, the incumbent government had taxed the rich. He said the people having income of Rs150 million would pay 1 percent more tax whereas those with income of Rs200 million, 250 million, and 300 million would be imposed additional taxes of 2%, 3% and 4% respectively.
He said, during its four year turn, the PTI government enhanced debt burden from Rs25000 billion to Rs45000 billion, an increase of 80 percent. He said, by providing subsidy on petrol and diesel for gaining political benefits, the PTI government inflicted loss of Rs120 billion to the national exchequer per month.
The minister said that $2.3 billion loan from China was expected to be transferred by Monday adding that China also rerolled the safe deposits that were due in June and July. He said, sugar that had touched Rs150 per kg price in PTI tenure was now available at Rs70 in utility stores whereas flour was being sold at Rs40 per KG adding that edible oil was imported to reduce prices of the commodity in the local market.
He said that the government has taken measures to protect the poor as 6 million families having income less than Rs40,000 were to be registered for monthly stipend of Rs2000, out of which one million has been registered. In addition, the recipients of BISP would receive Rs2800 per month whereas 60% of BISP families would be provided funds for education of children through Waseela Taleem scheme. He said, the people having income of less than Rs40,000 would also be facilitated through Utility Stores Corporation by providing them commodities on reduced prices.