We are bound to fulfill the sovereign promises made by Imran Khan. Miftah He had proposed to increase petroleum prices but PM Shehbaz Sharif has refused to do so. Finance Minister

Miftah Ismail says he had proposed to increase petroleum prices but PM Shehbaz Sharif has refused to do so

Says as promised by Shaukat Tareen both diesel & petrol should be increased by Rs 150 per liter today 

Says we are bound to fulfill the sovereign promises made by Imran Khan a prime minister

ISLAMABAD ( Web News )

Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Dr. Miftah Ismail Ahmed has said that he had proposed to increase the petroleum prices but Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif has refused to do so. He said that PM Shehbaz Sharif said that he could not put burden on masses while increasing the petroleum prices. He said that petroleum prices will not be increased from today (Monday) for next 15 days so the people should not stand outside the petrol pumps in queues for purchasing petrol in hot weather. He said that currently government has no plan to increase the prices of the petroleum products but if the petroleum prices are not decreased at the international market then in future Pakistan will have to adjust the prices of the petroleum products. He said that as promised by Shaukat Tareen both diesel and petrol should be increased by Rs 150 per liter. Miftah Ismail said that we knew about the circumstances of the country and I assure the people that we will resolve the matters while sitting with IMF and will overcome the inflation.

While addressing a press conference at Press Information Department (PID) in Islamabad on Sunday, Miftah Ismail said Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government has destroyed economy of the country. The Minister said agriculture sector was badly ignored and resultantly Pakistan imported wheat worth of six hundred million dollars last year. He said this year wheat worth of 1.5 billion dollars will have to be imported. Miftah Ismail said prices of flour soared up from 35 rupees per kg to 80 rupees per kg in last four years.

Criticising the PTI-led government, Miftah said during the presser that the former finance minister Shaukat Tarin had promised the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that the then government would abolish all the subsidies on petrol.

Referring to the devaluation of the rupee, the finance minister said that the dollar was at Rs115 during the PML-N’s previous tenure, but it surged to Rs189 during the four-year term of the PTI’s government. “The PTI-led government brought the country to the brink of economic disaster,” he said. “We are trying to mend the situation now.”

Miftah Ismail further said that the current coalition government was also working to improve the agriculture sector of the country. “The government will import edible oil worth $4 billion, while we will not import any sugar during the current fiscal year.” Miftah Ismail said that the PML-N government had left the dollar price at Rs 115 but Imran Khan’s government took this price to Rs 189.

He said that on 30th June 2018 Pakistan’s loan was Rs 24,952 billion, adding that Imran Khan made increase of Rs 20,000 billion in Pakistan’s loan, adding that Imran Khan increased 80 percent loan of the country.

He said that PTI government says it had left the subsidy for the oil prices, adding that we have funded this subsidy and Shehbaz Sharif’s government has funded this. He said former finance minister Senator Shaukat Fayyaz Ahmed Tareen should tell where this subsidy is kept so I could use it as finance minister, adding that I have not been where this money is present.

Miftah Ismail said that government mission is going to hold negotiations with IMF in Qatar on 18th May. Miftah Ismail said that secretary finance will lead delegation to Qatar for holding negotiations with IMF and upon arising need he will also join the delegation in ensuring week and will resolve the matters with IMF in well manner. He said that we are bound to fulfill the sovereign promises made by Imran Khan a prime minister.

Miftah Ismail said that Shaukat Tareen had promised with IMF that we will not give subsidy of even a single rupee and we will impose Rs 30 as levy on one liter petrol and we will impose 17 percent tax on it. He said that as promised by Shaukat Tareen both diesel and petrol should be increased by Rs 150 per liter today and may be diesel should be increased more then Rs 150. He said that this was promised by the minister of Imran Khan but we will not do this. He said that already there is high inflation and if petrol and diesel prices are increased it will further increase in inflation. Miftah Ismail said that he is going to IMF and will hold negotiations with them and will find some solution of this issue. He said that Prime Minister Shehbaz is not ready to put burden on the masses, adding that according to PM, the masses could not bear any further burden. Miftah Ismail said we will approach the IMF and find some middle way.

Criticising the PTI government, Ismail said it had “promised” the IMF in December that the primary deficit would be Rs25bn and the total deficit would be around Rs4,000bn. “The primary deficit has increased from Rs25bn to Rs1,320bn,” he said, questioning how the new government could cut it down in a few months. He alleged that the IMF had ended its programme with the PTI government and the latter had been requesting the Fund to not make it public. He said that Imran Khan’s government has left the primary deficit at Rs 1,300 billion after promising it Rs 25 billion.

Miftah Ismail said that it is expected that the wheat crop production of Pakistan will be 26 million tonne, adding that as a precautionary measure we have decided to import three million tons so that the prices of wheat is not increased in the country.

Miftah Ismail said that positive negotiations have been held with Saudi Arabia regarding depositing more reserves, adding that positive negotiations have been held but no final decision has been taken.

Miftah Ismail said that Asad Umar should tell the address where he had left the forex reserves of $22 billion. He said that $10.4 billion reserves are present with State Bank of Pakistan $6 billion reserves are present with the private banks and these are intact even till today. He said that instead of asking one month’s accountability from me, Asad Umar should tell what PTI government done in three years and nine months. He said that it would not be justify that if Imran Khan had decreased the petroleum prices he was right and if Shehbaz Sharif is not increasing prices then he is wrong, adding that both could be right or both could be wrong.