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Chief Economist Ahmed Zubair resigns over ‘pressure to change GDP data’

Journalist and political economy expert Javed Hassan on Tuesday claimed that Chief Economist Pakistan Ahmed Zubair resigned after he was being pressured to change data on GDP.

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In a Tweet, Hassan quoted Zubair as saying, “As a result of attempts to manipulate GDP growth, and my refusal, I was asked to tender my resignation on last Friday. Today, I have rendered my resignation. I am looking forward to chill at home and enjoy my post retirement life.”

Former Finance Minister Senator Shaukat Tarin took to Twitter and asked the incumbent government why they were bent on ruining the institutions. “The facts cannot be suppressed,” he said.

Meanwhile, Shahbaz Gill also tweeted, saying that PML-N’s Ishaq Dar was previously caught red-handed while changing data on GDP and later termed it a typo error. “They have once again resorted to same tactics,” he said.

Read more: Interviews of economists for interim PM being conducted: Sheikh Rasheed

“The Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) government has tried to downplay GDP growth for the fiscal year 2021-22 by pressurizing the department of statistics,” ARY News reported.

“The Shehbaz Shareef-led PML-N government reportedly pressurized the Statistics department and forced them to show the GDP growth from 4.5% to 5.5%.”

ARY News cited sources saying, “the PML-N government does not want the Statistics department to show a higher growth rate as its credit would go to the PTI government directly. It noted that industrial production went up by 10.4% from July to March.”