'Tough decisions' helped save Pakistan from bankruptcy: Miftah Ismail

'Tough decisions' helped save Pakistan from bankruptcy: Miftah Ismail

Islamabad (Web Desk): Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Miftah Ismail on Thursday said that by taking 'tough decisions', the coalition government has saved Pakistan from default.

Addressing a press conference in the federal capital along with Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum, the finance minister said that the previous regime led by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) had pushed the country to the verge of bankruptcy.

"It is our responsibility to save Pakistan from default. And with the grace of Allah, we did it and can say now that Pakistan was saved from default," the minister said.

He said that the government saved the country from bankruptcy by increasing diesel and petrol prices and by remaining continuously engaged with International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Miftah said that the decision to increase petroleum products' prices was not easy one but the government had to take it to save the country.

He said that Pakistan was now returning to better financial position citing the increasing valuation of rupee against dollar and performance of Pakistan Stock Exchange as examples of the progress.

"The IMF itself, through a press release said that it had made important progress in negotiations with Pakistan on budgetary measures for fiscal year 2022-23," Miftah Ismail said adding that the government has reached to an understanding with IMF on budget measures.

Terming the budget proposals “historic”,  the minister said that indirect taxes haven’t been imposed on the consumption of goods on which countries earn more tax. He blamed the previous Imran Khan-led government for burdening the masses by imposing several taxes on consumption.

He said that this was progressive and historic budget in a way that it did not increase indirect taxes nor did it propose taxes on commodities or consumption, commonly done by governments to improve collection.

"People having income of Rs150 million would pay 1% more tax whereas those with income of Rs200 million, 250 million, and 300 million would be imposed additional taxes of 2%, 3% and 4% respectively.

He said, during its four year turn, the PTI government enhanced debt burden from Rs25,000 billion to Rs45,000 billion, an increase of 80%.

"By providing subsidy on petrol and diesel for gaining political benefits, the previous PTI-led government inflicted loss of Rs120 billion to the national exchequer per month," Miftah stated.

The minister said that $2.3 billion loan from China was expected to be transferred by Monday adding that China also rerolled the safe deposits that were due in June and July.

He said that the government has taken measures to protect the poor as 6 million families having income less than Rs40,000 were to be registered for monthly stipend of Rs2000, out of which one million has been registered.

"In addition, the recipients of BISP would receive Rs2800 per month whereas 60% of BISP families would be provided funds for education of children through Waseela Taleem scheme," he said.

Miftah said that the people having income of less than Rs40,000 would also be facilitated through Utility Stores Corporation by providing them commodities on reduced prices.

"We have saved the country from default and the financial situation of the country is stable now," the minister asserted.