Shaukat Tarin: Pakistan in debt because of previous governments

Pakistan had to go to the IMF because we don’t have a machine printing dollars for us, Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin said on Monday.

While speaking on the floor of the National Assembly, he said that the country owes up to $30 billion interest in loans. “Why was the opposition silent when the PML-N government was taking short-term loans worth $10 billion?”

The minister retorted that if the economy was running so well previously, why was there a current account deficit of $20 billion?

“We have been forced to take loans from IMF because of the decisions of the former governments.”

Tarin credited Prime Minister Imran Khan for incentivising construction, export, and agriculture in the country which helped pull the economy out of tough times during coronavirus.

“In the new economic policy, we plan on spending more on these sectors,” he remarked. The inflation rate in Pakistan stands at 11% today, which is less than other countries in the region.

“The increase in prices of essential goods is because they are being imported,” the minister pointed out, adding that in the last 10 years, no work has been done on the agriculture industry. “We are currently importing 70% of our lentils.”

Talking about the Ehsaas programme, Tarin revealed that the government has allotted Rs160 billion to it in the Budget 2021-2022.

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