Islamabad sit-ins have cost the economy Rs1 trillion, claims Ahsan Iqbal

Published: September 10, 2014
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Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal addressing a press conference on Tuesday. PHOTO: PID

Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal addressing a press conference on Tuesday. PHOTO: PID

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal on Tuesday claimed that the political instability caused by the nearly month long protests in Islamabad had cost the economy Rs1 trillion.

At a press conference, Iqbal said that illogical and baseless allegations are being leveled by PTI chief Imran Khan which is not only damaging his own credibility, but also creating doubt in the minds of masses as well.

Giving details, Iqbal said the devaluation of the rupee during this period from Rs98 to the dollar to Rs103 to the dollar would cost the economy Rs250 billion in the additional burden to foreign debts.

Further, the national economy suffered a loss of Rs100 billion due to increase in the petroleum prices owing to the devolution.

Iqbal added that the stock exchange had crashed from 29,000 points to 28,000, causing a loss of Rs350 billion to the economy. At the same time, the inflationary price of exports caused damage worth Rs225 billion during this period.

The minister said that the PTI chief was spreading misinformation about the growth of national economy, with claims that it was 3.1 per cent rather than 4.1 per cent as informed to IMF. He said that after Imran’s allegation, the International Monitory Fund itself corrected it and endorsed actual figure of growth rate as 4.1 per cent, which Imran Khan has negated in his speeches.

The minister said that Imran was spreading misinformation about the visit of Chinese President by claiming the visit would have solmenised a loan deal at 60 per cent interest rate, which was baseless.

In fact, Iqbal claimed that the Chinese President was due to invest $34 billion mainly in the energy sector under the Power Purchase Agreement and its rate has not been finalised as yet.

“Due to the Chinese investment, 10, 400 mw electricity will be produced in Pakistan which will overcome the energy shortage in the country.”

“Due to the political ego, Imran Khan is not only leveling baseless allegations against the rival politicians, but also opts to blame Pakistan’s most sincere friend country, which has always helped Pakistan in testing times.”

The planning minister claimed that Imran was making policy statements based on unconfirmed statements made on television.

He reiterated that the 2013 elections were declared fair and credible by the EU observers and stated that they were more credible than ever before.

He said that Imran Khan is in hurry to become a Prime Minister and he believes that if the ongoing power and development projects mature after five years then the 2018 elections will also be won by Nawaz Sharif.

Minister for Information Technology Anusha Rehman said that the narrative of 35 punctures as Imran Khan often mentions, is that these 35 constituencies are those where the number of rejected votes are more than the number of wining votes. She said that these constituencies not only in Punjab, but also in other parts of country and PML-N candidates succeeded only in 12 out of 35 such constituencies. “It proof that neither caretaker Chief Minister Punjab Najam Sethi was behind of any such conspiracy nor PML-N was the beneficiary of these all constituencies”, she maintained.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly noted in its headline that a loss of $1 trillion had been caused instead of Rs1 trillion, as correctly noted in the story. The error is regretted.

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Reader Comments (11)

  • sall90
    Sep 10, 2014 - 2:17AM

    It’s not the sit-ins but the containers and this estimate is non-sense. Please don’t make another pretext of stealing money by asking for more loan. I am so sick of such Shareefs.

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  • S
    Sep 10, 2014 - 2:31AM

    PMLN govt is costing Pakistan its future! While we are talking numbers I would like to know where the tax payers money has been going for the past 30 years?

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  • Sep 10, 2014 - 3:20AM

    After these guys lied to us about the china visit, then the army involvement, then the total expenditure on the rallies. I simply cannot believe them. This number seems so exaggerated, that it’s more than the total bogus votes of PMLN.

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  • Keen Observer
    Sep 10, 2014 - 3:39AM

    $1 Trillion, is a lot of commission loss for these politicians. Atleast 16% as mentioned by the honorable Rana Sanaullah.

    Although I am trying to understand how come Dharna in Islamabad, away from all trade routes is the cause of these losses, nevertheless if these liars have any truth to what they say, than eventually they will react as money is the most important aim of their lives.

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  • Khalid
    Sep 10, 2014 - 12:59PM

    Here’s some really interesting math – Pakistan’s GDP is $210 billion (World Bank. (2013). The Little Data Book 2013), however according to the Minister for Development we have lost $1 Trillion in the 1 month long political standoff. Wow that is progress, at this rate our economy would be worth $12 trillion which would be just short of China!! We know that this government has had problems with getting numbers right (reporting different growth rates to IMF and People of Pakistan) but this one really takes the cake!!

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  • S K Afridi
    Sep 10, 2014 - 12:59PM

    He has gone nuts. Instead of solving the issues being raised by the protesters he is trying to discredit them.

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  • Faizan
    Sep 10, 2014 - 1:57PM

    @Khalid

    I think the heading of post is misleading. It should be Rs 1trillion (if at all) instead of $1 trillion. It caught my eye as well but surely is a typo.

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  • Sep 10, 2014 - 9:02PM

    Economy losses by sit-ins may be exaggerated by the federal government. But it is true that protests by PTI and PAT have damaged financial position of Pakistan. Devaluation of the Pakistani Rupee against US Dollar, would have caused losses of 500 – 800 million PKR approximately. It increased foreign debts, POL prices and imports costs. It decreased Foreign Exchange Reserves, exports valuation, foreign investment and overseas remittances.Recommend

  • Sep 10, 2014 - 9:02PM

    Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal on Tuesday claimed that the political instability caused by the nearly month long protests in Islamabad had cost the economy Rs1 trillion.

    ET plz correct the heading, “Islamabad sit-ins have cost the economy $1 trillion, claims Ahsan Iqbal”. US Dollar ($) is wrongly mentioned in the news heading instead of Pakistani Rupee (PKR).Recommend

  • Sep 10, 2014 - 9:03PM

    As mr Ahsan Iqbal was talking about economic losses in Pakistani Rupee, not US Dollar. So the Rs. 1 trillion economic losses claim may be somewhat correct. Almost all of Pakistan’s foreign dealings are in $, so the currency devaluation of PKR must have severe impact on financial position of our country.Recommend

  • Zubair Ahmed
    Sep 11, 2014 - 4:25PM

    No doubt in saying that we are a 3rd world country
    & This will never change , we will be same or even worst by time.
    All those accusations by KHAN / PAT are just fairy tales.
    They are next to fool the nation , for those like who have already done damage to our country , Politicians. and Politics all is crap.

    i Love my country but i have to be honest , when this country stand a chance to become like germany, uk, france, etc ,,,, Never
    under these circumstances it cannot be even hong kong in 200 years.
    God Bless Pakistan

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