PTI leader and former finance minister Shaukat Tarin has slammed the economic policies of the government and said a deal between the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Pakistan is still weeks away.
“The accord will be finalised by the end of July,” he said while addressing a press conference in Islamabad with other Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leaders on Wednesday.
“The work is in progress as per the IMF and a statement is yet to be issued. A memorandum of economic and financial policy (MEFP) is due on Friday. How could the government say that they have struck a deal with the IMF?” he asked.
Tarin said that the government did not take the decision regarding the resumption of $6 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF) from the IMF till six weeks after assuming office. “But they introduced a mini-budget by raising prices of petrol.”
He stressed that the incumbent government should have contacted Russia for cheap oil import. After securing cheap oil from Russia, the government should have introduced a targeted subsidy.
Tarin recalled that the PTI government began the process and even wrote a letter to Moscow for an oil deal. However, the current government delayed the decision on prices of petroleum products altogether.
The current government’s remark that the current account deficit would amount to $22 billion turned markets and banks nervous, said Tarin. As a result, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) hiked interest rates.
As per the ex-finance minister, inflation would be as high as 28% after the implementation of the budget in the new fiscal year.