Dar Unfit For The Job: Tarin Responds To The Criticism Of Whitepaper
ISLAMABAD: Shaukat Tarin says that incumbent Finance Minister Ishaq Dar lacks an understanding of the economy and is unfit for the job.
In a rejoinder issued to Dar’s presser on PTI’s white paper on economy, Tarin said: “Finance Minister Ishaq Dar’s press conference on Jan 4 was an attempt to divert attention from the miseries inflicted by the PDM imported regime on 220 million Pakistanis.”
He claimed all the numbers mentioned in the white paper were based on actual data. The data was from the Economic Survey, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff reports.
He said “Real focus is on the mess that we inherited and how we turned around the economy with a stellar 6pc growth over two consecutive years despite the Covid pandemic”. Mr Tarin added that the PDM government had failed to present a roadmap for the economy. The solution to increasing SBP reserves and avoiding a default on external debt payments awaits.
He also took on finance minister for failing to address high inflation faced by the masses. The former finance chief claims that potentially 4-5M people risked unemployment owing to the failed policies of the incumbent government.
In comparison, under the PTI government, an average of 1.8m jobs were created every year, he claimed.
Tarin said SBP reserves under the PDM government declined sharply to only $5.8 billion in December. The amount is only enough to cover a month of imports. There was no clarity on resumption of the IMF program and financial assistance from friendly countries.
He questioned the government for running a federal cabinet of 76 ministers but whine no money for public relief.
Even former finance minister Miftah Ismail and other PML-N members were critical of Mr Dar’s policies, Tarin remarked. He added that during Khan’s government the economy was growing at 6pc for the second consecutive year. The country was making record exports of large-scale manufacturing and had better agricultural output.
However, under the PDM government, the economy had nose-dived. The SBP estimated the GDP growth to just 2pc due to the “draconian” tax measures and import restrictions.
The former finance czar also blamed the government for effectively causing a shutdown of the economy. “From textile mills to automobile manufacturers, all are reporting a shutdown in factories and massive layoff of labour,” he commented.
He shared that “The PDM regime has rolled back some of the reforms we undertook. Beside it has further burdened the taxpayers through exorbitant taxation measures”.
Regarding the private sector credit, Tarin added that under the previous PTI government, credit to the private sector grew by Rs1.6 trillion in the last fiscal year, which he claimed was the highest-ever increase recorded. Under the PDM government, however, that growth had slowed down sharply with the loans taken by the private sector declining to Rs260bn during July to Dec FY23, compared to Rs600bn in the same period last year, he stated.
He also talked about how the current account deficit, exports, foreign direct investment, and circular debt of the power sector performed better during the PTI government than in the current set-up.