Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Tuesday stated the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government inherited an economic challenge, forcing the country to approach the International Monetary Fund for financial help.
“Yes, we are going to the IMF, but the question remains why we have to take the help of the IMF. Governments go to IMF when there’s macroeconomic instability in the country,” FM Qureshi said while speaking in the Senate.
“Imagine, a government takes office and is told that the forex reserves are only enough to last six weeks because of the actions of the previous leaders, it rings alarm bells. If you’re told that trade deficit is the biggest ever in the history, then it does raise concerns,” the foreign minister said and added that the PTI government tried to avoid going to IMF by taking help of friendly countries.
“I want to especially thank China, Saudi Arabia and UAE for their help. However, despite the support, the deficit remained wide.”
The foreign minister further added that every public department is undergoing a crisis. “Railways, Steel Mills, PIA, these were all in debt, and that debt is haemorrhaging the government.”
The federal minister further stated that the growth of sectors is becoming stagnant, stating the growth trajectory is downwards in the agricultural sector.
“This points towards macroeconomic instability in the country,” he added.
The FM also pointed at the previous government’s failure in awarding the National Finance Commission (NFC) Award.
“Granting the NFC Award is our constitutional responsibility,” he stated, claiming that the Sindh government is primarily responsible for the lack of NFC award.
“Distribution of resources is constitutional responsibility and we will try to do it in our five years,” the FM added, also saying that the PTI government will introduce a better NFC award.
FM Qureshi also lamented at the state of the health sector in Sindh, referring to the recent spread of HIV in the province.