ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain Tuesday said former finance minister Ishaq Dar and company were responsible for the country’s economic woes as they had indebted the future generations to pay debts.
Responding to the speech of PPP’s Syed Naveed Qamar on the supplementary finance budget bill in the National Assembly, he said Ishaq Dar had fled from the country in the aeroplane of then prime minister after playing havoc with the economy.
Referring to the book (Confessions of an Economic Hit Man), the minister said its American author John Perkins had narrated the process of economic colonization of Third World countries, which was adopted by the last government.
The minister said it was the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) agenda to indebt the country while they came into power in 2013 and it did with Pakistan what the East India Company had done with India. The PML-N ensured the future generations to keep paying the whooping debt, he added.
He said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government would fulfill its promises which the party had made with the people. Its performance was far better than the previous governments during the corresponding periods, he remarked.
“During the PML-N regime, the country’s expenses were over Rs 2,780 billion per annum while the overall deficit stood at 7.2 percent during its entire tenure. The fiscal deficit went up five times,” the minister said.
He said when the PTI took over the country’s had foreign reserves of only one and a half months.
“The governments of both the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and the PML-N criminally destroyed the state institutions. Pakistan is at the verge of economic collapse due to bad governance of the past regimes.”
Fawad proposed a Charter of Economy for economic revival. The public debt during the first 60 years was only Rs 6 trillion, which increased to Rs 13 trillion in 2013 and Rs 28 trillion in 2018. Who was responsible for the debacle, he questioned.
The minister said the PML-N workers were employed in every department, who did not bother to attend offices and preferred to work for their party’s social media cell.
He said some 700 contractual employees were in Radio Pakistan and it had no money to pay their salaries. About Rs 200 million was needed to pay pensions to its retired employees. The present government, however, was not being allowed to take remedial measures. From where the salaries would be paid to the radio employees, he asked.
The minister said the government was trying to introduce reforms and the difference between the poor and the rich would be bridged by paying subsidies to the former and taxing the latter.
He said the policies of PML-N government had only made a few billionaires. Their ruling elite enjoyed treatment abroad. Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif spent Rs 11 trillion in his 10-year rule in Punjab. Metro bus projects were launched in Islamabad, Lahore and Multan, for which Rs 8 billion was needed each year to run the buses whereas the Orange Line train project was constructed by taking Rs 300 billion loan, he added.
The PML-N government, he said, had purchased 33 luxury vehicles worth Rs 980 million for the SAARC conference, which was never held, and Rs 330 million was spent on their maintenance.
He said Prime Minister Imran Khan had taken austerity measures soon after taking reins of the government. He refused to live in the 1,100 kanal PM House and preferred a three-bed house.
Fawad said former prime minister Nawaz Sharif had announced to build airports and motorways during his visits to different areas of the country. He even inaugurated the construction of an airport in Thar, where there was a little population, the minister said.