News Desk |
Hammad Azhar, the Minister of State for Revenue said that despite having better economists in PMLN like Ahsan Iqbal and Muhammad Zubair, the then Finance Minister of Pakistan and now absconder Ishaq Dar never involved other economic think tanks in the policy-making process. Hammad Azhar made these statements on Dr. Moeed Pirzada’s program at GNN Television on Thursday, February 7th, 2019.
In response to Ahsan Iqbal’s World Bank report of January 2018, Hammad Azhar confirmed that it was true that World Bank revealed 5.9% forecast growth rate for upcoming year “But the Fitch International report which was published in the same month of 2018 predicted otherwise: Fitch International placed Pakistan’s economic rating even below B category”, Azhar said.
“Similarly, Moody’s June 2018 report also shifted Pakistan’s economic rating from B to B negative in PML-N tenure and by September 2018, the economic growth was already floating below 4.9%. Moreover, IMF’s March 2018 economic report about Pakistan also claimed tremendous downfall in PNL-N tenure”, the minister said.
“We are noticing some optimistic signs in the increase of remittances and a gradual rise in the Stock Market. A handsome growth in the data of exports of January will be visible soon in a few days,” Hammad Azhar said.
While commenting on the statement of Muhammad Zubair, senior leader PML-N, Hammad Azhar said that the last budget of PML-N placed the expenditure understated while revenue overstated from actual figures which welcomed the unexpected economic malaise. “Why did they place these fake figures? Perhaps it happened mistakenly or may be, it was aimed to pressurize the upcoming government.”
Commenting on the statement of former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, who had said that loan taking is not a dangerous phenomenon because rich countries like the US and China take huge debts but maintain good growth rates; Hammad Azhar called it an irresponsible statement, adding that if a country does not have the capacity to pay back its loans, then there may be the chances of bankruptcy of that country, which was the situation of Pakistan when PTI took the government”.
Read more: Pakistan forced to return to IMF!
Taking a jibe at the diplomatic inability of the previous government, the minister said that PMLN never received a single penny from the so-dubbed friends of Pakistan. “But we have received huge money from Saudi Arab with the same interest rate that of IMF, which is 3%.”
Responding to a question about going to IMF, the Minister for State Revenue told that Government is in contact with the IMF Chief. “They are setting the modalities and conditions to go to IMF. IMF is coming closer to our conditions gradually,” he went on to add.
Read more: Pakistan With or Without the IMF?
Briefing about the economic headway that PTI government has made, the minister said that they (PTI) have set patterns to improve the economy and they would certainly increase the exports and remittances to address all financial problems. “We are noticing some optimistic signs in the increase of remittances and a gradual rise in the Stock Market. A handsome growth in the data of exports of January will be visible soon in a few days,” Hammad Azhar said.