Tough decisions taken to avoid bankruptcy, revive national economy: Petroleum Minister

ISLAMABAD, Jun 3 (APP): Minister of State for Petroleum Dr Musadik Malik on Friday said the incumbent government had taken tough decisions regarding subsidies on petrol and diesel, in compulsion, giving a special focus on reviving the national economy and steering the country out of the confronted financial crunch.

Addressing a news conference along with senior leader of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, he said the previous government of PTI gave unjustified subsidies on petroleum products without any budgetary allocations and approval from the quarters concerned like the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) and the Federal Cabinet.

Terming the subsidies ‘landmines’ installed by the PTI government before facing the no-confidence motion against Imran Khan, he said it put around Rs700-800 billion extra burden on the national exchequer in three months, if taxes were included.

Drawing a comparison, the minister said around Rs 528 billion expenses were incurred annually to run the affairs of the whole federal government.

Besides, Dr Musadik said the previous government also violated the commitments made with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) about the subsidies for getting financial assistance.

“The PTI government, as a pre-condition, had signed a contract with the IMF that they will increase the prices and impose petroleum levy and sales tax. But, it violated sovereign commitment with the international financial institutions,” he said.

The minister said the PTI did all this to push the country towards default and bankruptcy for political gains, and recalled Imran Khan’s recent statements about the country’s strategic assets and disintegration.