Daily loss of Rs2,500m to govt from PTI's economic 'minefield': Miftah

Tough choices need to be made, warns the former finance minister

News Desk April 16, 2022

Former Finance Minister Miftah Ismail revealed on Saturday that the federal government was losing around Rs2,500 million daily due to the economic 'minefield’ left by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government.

“At the moment the government is losing Rs21 per litre on petrol and Rs52 per litre on diesel. That’s a loss of Rs3600 crore in 2 weeks or a loss of Rs250 crore per day. This expense is more than the cost of running the entire civilian federal government plus the entire BISP/Ehsaas programme. We simply cannot afford to walk in the minefield PTI has left for us,” the former finance minister said in a series of tweets.



Miftah added that the decision announced by the government not to change the prices of petroleum products was a tough one and would have to be revisited.

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“PTI has tied our hands by actually committing in writing that not only will they recover the full cost of fuels but also impose Rs30 per litre levy and 17% sales tax on those fuels. According to PTI commitments, the price of petrol should be Rs236 [per litre] and diesel should be Rs264 [per litre],” the PML-N leader further said.

He added that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif was in no mood to impose such prices and high taxes on the people, but at the same time, we [the government] cannot let our "fiscal and external financial position deteriorate further" and have our development partners walkout.

“Tough choices need to be made,” he warned. “Note also that the fuel price subsidy is coming from increasing govt expenses and raising debt. Unlike BISP where poor people are being helped, here the average (low income) Pakistani is subsidising middle to high income Pakistani.”

In a news conference a few days ago, Miftah had said that country’s economy was badly “damaged” during the tenure of PTI-led government which he said piled the public debt to the level of Rs64,00 billion.

He had said that the fiscal deficit was hovering at around Rs5,600 billion and if supplementary grants of Rs800 billion were included, the total amount would reach Rs6,400. The PML-N leader had elaborated how the illogical decisions by the previous government had resulted in increasing overall debt.

He, however, expressed the hope that the future of Pakistan was brighter under the leadership of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

Miftah, who is expected to become Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance, had also criticised the PTI government over providing a relief package of Rs370 billion under which the former premier Imran had announced to reduce the petroleum prices by Rs10 per litre and electricity by Rs5 per unit.


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