Finance Minister Miftah Ismail Asked PM Shehbaz Sharif For A Petrol Subsidy Decision

Miftah Ismail who is recently appointed Finance Minister stated on Wednesday, that the petrol subsidy for May and June allowed by the previous government is Rs96 billion which is a big burden for the current government.

Finance Minister while speaking at the National Press Club during a meeting with the Press also accompanied by Marriyum Aurangzeb the Federal Minister of Information and Broadcasting stated that landmines had been left by the PTI’s government for the current government.

The finance minister stated that Shehbaz Sharif's government has been put in trouble by Imran Khan due to not taking diesel and petrol tax. The subsidy is given through the nations’ money and the cheap petrol is not a favor.

He mentioned that Rs21 on petrol and Rs52 on diesel subsidy given by the government due to which Rs68 subsidy was paid from the national exchequer for the month of April.

He also added that the decision will have to be taken by the prime minister as we couldn’t keep this up. It is double the cost of civilian government administrative expenses.

Finance Minister stated that the coalition government would make every effort for restoring the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) program with IMF. He stated that the government would take all necessary steps to restore the program and the government is willing to tighten its belt without putting any extra burden on the people.

He said that despite the PTI government creating all odds, the government would be presenting a development-friendly and people-friendly budget. He expressed his hope that the rupee value would not further slide and the performance of the market would also improve.

Miftah Ismail stated that a 6.1% growth rate had been left by PML-N which in the PTI government's first year reduced to 1.9% and –1% the following year.

He also stated that similarly, inflation based on Consumer Price Index (CPI) has risen from 3.9% to 12.7% and the Sensitive Price Indicator has jumped up to 17.3%. Rural inflation has been facing more hikes compared to the urban, which is very unusual. The food inflation was 2.3% in PML-N tenure which has risen to 10% in a year and 14% in March.

Likewise, in the PML-N five years tenure, the deficit of the budget was on average Rs1,600 billion, whereas, during this year it has reached Rs5,600 billion. The tax collection reduced from 11.1% to 9.1% of GDP and the debt which was in PML-N government Rs24,952.9 billion has now increased to Rs42,735 billion by Dec 2021.

Ismail stated that the PTI government during its tenure took over Rs20,000 billion in debt.

He stated that from Liaqat Ali Khan the first Prime Minister of Pakistan to Nasir-ul-Mulk the total amount of debt was Rs25,000 billion and in less than four years Imran Khan's government took Rs20,000 billion debt.

He also stated that the debt taken by the PML-N government was utilized for building dams, road infrastructure, energy plants, and education projects, whereas, no such utilization was witnessed during the PTI government.

The minister further stated that the current account deficit was at $20 billion and reserves went down to $10.8 billion, whereas, the gas circular debt is 1.5 trillion accumulated by the PTI government. He also added that the present government will make a commission for investigating the smuggling of urea.