ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Information Marriyum Aurangzeb on Thursday said that the current inflation was due to the tougher conditions of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that the previous government had accepted.
Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, the information minister said that Imran Khan had removed Asad Umar as finance minister after he raised questions about IMF.
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She said that the nation suffered because of the incompetency of the previous government.
Lashing out at the then PTI-led government, the minister said they looted the country during their four years in power.
Speaking about the depreciation of the Pakistani rupee against the US dollar she said that dollar was at Rs. 115 in 2018, but during PTI’s rule it broke all the records and was at Rs 189.
She said those, who are questioning the performance of a four-week government, should be ashamed of this approach. “The PTI-led government gave unfunded subsidies on petroleum products to paralyse Pakistan’s economy,” the minister added.
She said that nation would have to render sacrifices for the revival of the economy of the country.
The minister said that the incumbent government’s focus was to reduce imports.
The minister said that the government has formulated an economic plan to take the country out of the current financial crisis, adding that this would impact the country’s foreign reserves.
The information minister announced that the government has banned the import of non-essential and luxury items to control inflation, stabilize foreign exchange reserves, strengthen the economy, and reduce country’s reliance on imports.
She said luxury imported items, including vehicles, mobile phones, home appliances, dry and fresh fruits, crockery, private weapons, decoration items, preserved and frozen food items, sanitary, doors and windows, beauty and confectionary items.
The minister said the government was working on an emergency fiscal plan and economic management, adding that the annual impact of these steps will be around six billion dollars. “It will also help reduce the Current Account Deficit.”
Aurangzeb said that the prime objective of these measures was aimed at reducing reliance on imports and introducing an export-oriented policy to promote the local industry in the country. She said a plan is also being prepared to promote local manufacturers so that people will be provided employment opportunities.
The Minister said Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif “is making efforts to provide relief to the common people.”
Marriyum Aurangzeb said the government is also taking measures to improve the energy situation in the country.
Speaking about the snap elections the minister made no one can give a deadline for elections, adding that the government, after consultation with its allies, would decide the date for elections.
Talking about Imran Khan’s march toward Islamabad, Aurangzeb said that anyone talking of a bloody march should keep in mind that the law would not spare such elements.