Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin slams IMF for forcing Pak govt to extend electrical energy tariff

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Newly-appointed Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin on Monday slammed the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for forcing Pakistan to extend the electrical energy tariff and termed it “injustice”.

Tarin spoke in regards to the world cash lender in a gathering of the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Finance, Revenue, and Economic Affairs. The assembly was chaired by the committee chairman, Faiz Ullah Kamoka.

“IMF did injustice to Pakistan, the demand to increase the electricity tariff is unjustified,” mentioned the minister, including that the value hike had stopped the financial system from shifting ahead and likewise elevated corruption.

The minister additionally issued a dire warning to the lawmakers saying that if the incumbent authorities shouldn’t be capable of take the GDP progress to five%, then the nation will likely be at “God’s mercy for the next four years”. He also assured them that he is trying to explain the situation to the IMF.

“The increase in tariff is leading to a rise in inflation. We have told the IMF that we will reduce the circular debt but increasing the tariff is unexplainable,” said the minister.

Tarin shared with the lawmakers that the revenue was increasing of the government but told them that tough decisions to revive the economy were still needed.

“Instead of introducing taxes, there is a need to increase the tax net. Our country lacks short-term, medium-term and long-term policies,” deplored Tarin. He cited the example of China, Turkey, and India where there are consistent economic policies in place.

The minister said he is of the view that there is a need to improve policies in agriculture, industries, the housing sector, and price control.

Tarin told the lawmakers that mortgage in the country is at 0.25%, adding that if the housing sector is revived, then 20 other industries will start working.

“The authorities ought to privatise all establishments that it’s unable to run,” Tarin said, adding that there very little amount is spent on education and health.

What did Shaukat Tarin say about Pakistan’s economy before becoming finance minister?

The minister’s criticism of the government policies is not something new, as before taking charge of the ministry, he had slammed the policies pursued by his predecessors.

Shaukat Tarin was sworn in as the county’s new finance minister on April 17, after he replaced federal minister Hammad Azhar, who had just been on the job for less than a month.

But, what was Tarin’s perception of the country’s economic policy before he was appointed?

While speaking in Geo News’ programme “Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Saath”, he had presented a charge sheet against the government’s economic policy.

“We do not know the place the financial system is heading […] We should put our home so as,” the newly-appointed finance minister had said back then.

The captain of the ship has to stand firm and be strong or the vessel won’t move ahead, he said.

“We have to vary the NAB (National Accountability Bureau) rules to usher in individuals from the personal sector,” Tarin had added.

Speaking on another TV show, he had said achieving Pakistan’s current economic goals was a difficult task, but not an impossible one.

“The Pakistani nation shouldn’t be afraid of difficulties,” he had said.

Tarin had said if the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) does not increase its revenue to 15%, then the country will run out of money to spend.

“The FBR should carry income to 20% in 5-7 years […] in any other case the nation will be unable to achieve an financial progress price of 7-8%,” he added.

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