Previous govt deliberately orchestrated economic crisis: Economic Expert Ashfaq Hassan

ISLAMABAD, Feb 14 (APP):Renowned Economic Expert, Dr. Ashfaq Hassan said Sunday that the economic crisis, the country had to face, was deliberately orchestrated by the previous government.

In an interview, he said that when the political party leading the government in 2017 realized that it would not come into power due to Panama Leaks, it deliberately made the economic situation worse.

Ashfaq Hassan said he had written in an article published in the December 2017 edition of News Magzaize Narratives that the way economic situation was being aggravated, it seemed that the country was being pushed towards International Monetary fund (IMF), adding that Panama leaks had already surfaced at that time.

“I am not any political person. I think that that the government of that time had come under heavy pressure due to Panama,” he said adding when the Panama trial was going on and the media was giving 24 hour coverage to it, the political party heading the government had realized that it was difficult for it to come to power.

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So they though that they should make the situation worse to make it hard for the coming government to manage, he added.

He said that it was right of the opposition to criticize the government, however advised that it was better for it not to speak on economy.

Explaining how that government made things worse, he said that imports of the century, which were around $41 billion till 2015-16, started increasing at fast pace adding that had that government wished, this surge could have been stopped.

He said that the government allowed imports of every type of luxury items which even included food for dogs and cats, shampoos, cheese, chocolates, mobile phones and vehicles. He lamented that at a time when the country was facing balance of payment issues, the vehicles of 2500 CC were being imported.

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He said that the tax relaxation given by then Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was also a plot that threw out about 0.5 million taxpayers out of tax net as the exemption was enhanced from Rs0.5 million to Rs1.2 million.

He said that the exemption was given to gain popularity, adding that he had raised voice that the country having low number of taxpayers, numbering around 1.2 to 1.3 million, could not afford this.

The previous government willingly did this wrong with an objective to bring about criticism over the coming government when it enhance these tax slabs.