Imran targeting state institutions to destabilize country: Ahsan Iqbal


ISLAMABAD, Jun 16 (APP):Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal on Thursday said former prime minister Imran Khan was targeting key state institutions in order to destabilize the country.

Addressing a press conference here, he said Imran Khan was deliberately spreading anarchy with a well-planned social media campaign against the national institutions.
“We will, however, not let Imran Khan target the nation and the institutions through his negative politics.”

Ahsan Iqbal said due to unprecedented increase in the prices of crude oil in the international market, the government had no option but to raise the same in the country, however, it had withdrawn all the taxes and levies on the petroleum products.

He said the current economic situation was due to the mismanagement of previous government. The economy of a country grew with development activities, but unfortunately for the last four years, Pakistan’s development budget persistently decreased.

“In 2018, when we left the government, Rs 1,000 billion each was allocated for both defence sector and Public Sector development Programme (PSDP). Today when after four years, I take over the charge of the ministry, the amount earmarked for the PSDP was Rs 900 billion, but only Rs 550 billion could be spent during the outgoing fiscal year due to fiscal constraints.”

The Finance Division declined to issue further releases to the PSDP since the end of the third quarter of outgoing fiscal year, he added.

The minister said the Imran Khan government had agreed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that all subsidies on the petroleum products would be withdrawn and further taxes would be imposed.

He also blamed the previous government for rapidly depleting foreign exchange reserves.The coalition partners were well aware of the worst situation, but they had no choice but to take the charge of government only to save the country’s future.

He said Pakistan needed stability. The coalition government could easily go for the general election, but it had to take the toughest decision to save the country which could collapse during the interim setup.

He said for the next fiscal year, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) revenues target had been set at around Rs 7,000 billion and after paying the provinces’ share, only Rs 3,000 billion would be left with the federal government, which would have to take further loans to meet its liabilities of over Rs 6,000 to 7,000 billion.

In the last four years, he said, the annual debt servicing was Rs 1,500 billion, which had now increased to Rs 4,000 billion.

Ahsan Iqbal said as per the vision of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, a charter of the economy was needed to put the country on the path of stability and growth. For the charter of economy, all the political parties should sit together and agree to continue the policies for at least 10 years irrespective of which of them was in the government, he added.