“Bad Days Ahead,” Pakistan’s Finance Minister warns

According to Pakistan’s Finance Minister, the government led by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is suffering as a result of the economic policies implemented by the former Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf regime led by ousted Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Speaking at a ceremony at the Pakistan Stock Exchange, the minister said the government of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif was suffering as a result of the economic policies pursued by the former Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf regime of ousted Prime Minister Imran Khan.

“During the previous Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government, the country’s budget deficit was USD 1,600 billion, and in the last four years under the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf regime, that figure ballooned to USD 3,500,” Geo TV quoted Ismail as saying.

“No country can grow and be stable with this kind of current account deficit,” he asserted.

“When you raise the budget deficit and also increase the loans by 80 per cent, it has an adverse impact on the economy,” he explained.

“I will not allow imports to increase for three months and, in the meantime, we will come up with a policy. I understand that growth will be reduced for a bit but I have no other choice,” the Dawn newspaper quoted the finance minister as saying.

Pakistan’s import bill was USD 80 billion in the previous fiscal year, while exports were USD 31 billion.

He stated that the current government needed to take immediate and short-term measures to save the country from a possible default. “Perhaps it was unwise in the long run,” he lamented.

“We’re on the right track, but bad days are unavoidable. If we can keep our imports under control for three months, we can increase our exports through a variety of means “he stated.

Concerning the exchange rate, Ismail stated that dollar outflows had surpassed inflows, causing the rupee to fall sharply against the greenback over the last month.