Opposition challenges official economic figures

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ISLAMABAD / LAHORE: Opposition parties on Saturday criticized the government’s announcement of expected growth in Pakistan’s gross domestic product (GDP) – which it said would reach 3.94% in fiscal year 2020-2021.

A day earlier, Prime Minister Imran Khan said Pakistan’s GDP growth for fiscal year 2020-2021 was estimated at 3.94%, as he praised the government’s policy to help the economy grow. .

The government had previously estimated GDP growth of 2.1% for the outgoing fiscal year. The IMF and the World Bank, on the other hand, had predicted GDP growth of around 1.5% for the current fiscal year. Opposition leader in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif, in a series of tweets, said the country’s growth rate was 5.8% during the PMLN tenure, but now the prime minister is claiming a rate of growth of only 3.9%, which is not true. A representative of the SBP (State Bank of Pakistan) objected to the figure being overstated. The PTI, in its first year, had increased the initial figure from 1.9% to 3.3 %. This year, too, they lied, “he said. The PMLN chairman said independent economists predicted a decline in real incomes for Pakistanis this year. “Therefore, the growth rate – put forward by the PTI – this year is also unrealistic, which will be lower when it is revised,” he said. Shahbaz said that every week since February 5, prices have increased by 13%. “Prices are up 17 percent this week from last year,” he said. The PMLN chairman said middle-class households had suffered a severe setback as the rate of inflation was so high that food prices had increased by 14%.

“Imran Khan is running the country only for his friends,” he said.

The opposition leader said the PTI had left five million people unemployed and 20 million in extreme poverty.

“In a prosperous economy, inflation is low, employment is high, the government plans schools, hospitals and infrastructure. Where is our economy at?”

Meanwhile, PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said the PTI-led government has a unique talent for being “absolutely shameless when it boldly and brazenly deceives the people.”

The federal government has, since its first day in power, rigged the numbers and stacked the statistics in their favor, Bilawal said in a statement.

“Cheating on the economic numbers can feed the government’s big egos, but it doesn’t feed people. These alleged facts and figures amount to igniting the experience of people who are crushed by the economic failures of Imran Khan, ”he said.

The PPP chairman said that since the PTI formed the government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa almost ten years ago, poverty levels have increased exponentially, with figures showing that poverty has risen from 9% to 27%. today.

On the other hand, under the PPP, he said that Sindh had succeeded in reducing the poverty rate by 7.6%. He said the Sindh PPP government had also overseen “Sindh’s per capita income increase”, with the province now “leading the rural and urban figures”.

Meanwhile, Finance and Revenue Minister Shaukat Tarin said Pakistan has experienced strong V-shaped growth despite being on a tough International Monetary Fund (IMF) program.

In a tweet, the minister said the IMF program was necessitated by an unsustainable current account deficit and declining foreign exchange reserves and a vicious COVID-19. He expressed his gratitude to Prime Minister Imran Khan and his team for achieving this growth.

“Well done to the Imran Khan team Thumbs up FinMinistryPak GovtofPakistan,” he tweeted.

Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Minister Asad Umar said the National Accounts Committee (NAC) was a non-political committee and the decision to 4% growth in the outgoing fiscal year had was taken by consensus.

The minister said it was not the PML-N government when the committee was told to announce what it wanted. “Questions were raised in the Professional and Non-Political Committee, where the data was assessed and the decision was taken unanimously,” Asad Umar said in his tweet.

Energy Minister Hammad Azhar said a GDP growth rate of 4% would be achieved in the current fiscal year.

Addressing a press conference, the minister said that all targets related to GDP growth have been met and he is expected to reach a more sustained pace.

“Many analyzes indicate that the growth rate will be above 4%,” he added.

He said the GDP increase from $ 263 billion to $ 296 billion, an increase of $ 33 billion in the current fiscal year, was the highest on record in a year. He said the country’s foreign exchange reserves also climbed to $ 23 billion. He said that despite the enormous challenge to the economy from the COVID-19 pandemic, the country’s economy has grown and that this is proof of the success of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s economic policies.

Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Farrukh Habib, while speaking with the media before inaugurating a dedicated corona service at Faisalabad National Hospital, said the country would meet its targets for ‘here is the end of the year despite the major challenges.

He said the economy was destroyed under the previous government, adding that Ishaq Dar presented false figures to show the economy was growing at a faster pace. He said that at that time the economy was entirely dependent on foreign loans, while executives painted a rosy picture of the economy.

“We did not have the money to pay the import bill. The government was unable to provide $ 10 billion to repay the mandatory portion of the loans,” he added.

Farrukh Habib said the PML-N government presented a false figure of 5.5% growth rate. He said that at the time, the country’s imports were $ 60 billion while exports were only $ 20 billion. There was a huge trade deficit of $ 40 billion and the current account deficit was $ 19.2 billion. He said foreign exchange reserves with the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) were declining to $ 9 billion. He said the previous government got record loans of $ 11.7 billion and there was no real-time growth and the loans were used to buy properties in London. He said the policies of Nawaz Sharif and Ishaq Dar were based on cosmetics.

On per capita income, he challenged Muhammad Zubair of the PMLN, Nawaz Sharif and Bilawal Zardari and said it was $ 1,496 during the tenure of the previous government. He said that now it had climbed to $ 1,608, which was a clear indication that people were enjoying the positive effects of steady economic growth.

Prime Minister’s Special Assistant for Political Communication Shahbaz Gill said in tweets that even staunch critics praise the government for nearly 4% GDP growth, showing Pakistan is moving towards sustainable growth. He said Pakistan would not face the mountain of current account deficit this year.

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