ISLAMABAD, Nov 16 (APP):The tough decisions coupled with the prudent policies by the incumbent government helped put the country’s economy on its own feet, said Muzammil Aslam, Spokesman for Advisor to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue here Tuesday. In an interview with APP, Muzammil said that the economic position would get better by 2023 keeping in view various indicators.
He said, the tough decisions were now bearing fruit as there had been considerable growth in industry and agriculture whereas finances were also coming to the government with improvement in tax collection. He said that the country’s economy would grow by 5 percent at a time when all the world economies were moving on backward direction, adding that the claims of 5.5 percent growth rate by the Pakistan Muslim League (N) would be left behind by the growth to be achieved in the tenure of incumbent government.
He said that despite negative impacts of corona virus on all the economies of the world, the economy of Pakistan had been placed on the same position as was before Covid-19 pandemic. He said, it was the number one performing economy in the pandemic period, hence outnumbering many economies. He said that this year there was going to be food surplus instead of deficit, which he said would help bring price stability in the country and help bring down inflationary pressure.
Talking about the situation in 2018, the spokesman said that economy had virtually bankrupted, but the then ruling party, PML kept on hiding its actual position. He said that the bad situation of economy surfaced at a time when PML approached the International Monetary Fund (IMF) during its last 6 months tenure and was returned to come back when in power again.
He said, earlier, when PML (N) came into power in 2013, the Pakistan People’s Party had done almost same things, however, the situation was not so bad. At that time, the then caretaker government had negotiated with IMF and resultantly PML signed the agreement in first week after it assumed power.
He said, when Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf assumed power in 2018, it took around one year to approach the IMF and had to take a programme on tough terms, despite the fact that it was provided financial support by China and Saudi Arabia besides taking tough decision of devaluation of rupee and enhancement in interest rates. To a question on media’s highlighting negative indicators, he said, the media would show the week side of economy only. He said that the inflation was a global phenomenon, citing example of India where Wholesale Priced Index remained in double figure for seventh consecutive month in October.
He said that the corona pandemic had miserably affected supply chain and transportation, resulting in price hike in food and oil prices. He expected that when the supply chain starts improving in a couple of months, the inflation would automatically start receding. He said that after protecting country’s sovereignty, helping the vulnerable segments of society was the top priority of the government.
The spokesman highlighted the importance of consistency of policy and political stability to lead the country towards sustainable economic development, adding that Prime Minister was prioritizing future generation over elections gains and that is why all of his policies were aimed at protecting future of Pakistan. He said that the exports of the country were growing historical high at $30 billion, adding that services exports were also pacing up to break records.
He said remittances were expected to grow up to $32 billion this year compared to $19 billion of PML(N). To a question, he said that Saudi Money was coming in difficult times, however he added that it would be returned as soon as possible. To a question about IMF programme, Muzammil said that efforts were underway to complete 6th review with IMF soon.
He said that even before the launch of Textile Policy, the government had provided electricity and gas to the industrial units in addition to providing them soft loans to compete in the world. He, however, highlighted the importance of enhancing cotton production. He said the tax collection so far was Rs225 billion higher than the target, which he said was a very positive sign for economy. He hoped that time has come that the policies of the government bear the fruit to take the economy towards sustainable development.