Previous govt did not provide any relief to the people of Pakistan in the last three-and-a-half years: PM Shehbaz
Says during the PTI’s tenure loans worth Rs22,000 billion were taken which shows an 80% increase from 2018
Requests business community to present solutions to Pakistan’s economic woes
Says ban on import of luxury items will save $4 billion during one year
KARACHI ( Web News )
Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif on Friday addressed the business community in Karachi and sought solutions to the economic woes that the country is undergoing. Shehbaz Sharif said that the ban on import of luxury items will save $4 billion during one year, adding that Pakistan will import edible oil for one year costing $4 billon. Shehbaz Sharif directed Finance Minister Dr. Miftah Ismail to abolish 17% solar tax and issue SRO regarding abolishing this tax. Shehbaz Sharif said until and unless Almighty Allah will permit he will continue serving the people of Pakistan.
During his speech, the premier asked businessmen to speak about their problems and said: “We need to analyse the economic situation with patience.”
The premier then requested the business community to provide solutions as the local currency has lately been fluctuating significantly against the US dollar.
“I am not here for political point-scoring,” the premier clarified, stressing that he wants to know the solutions to the problems faced by the business community.
Regarding the rising rates of the US dollar against the Pakistani rupee, PM Shehbaz Sharif highlighted that the greenback was Rs118 back in August 2018; however, when the coalition government was formed after ousting former prime minister Imran Khan through a vote of no-confidence back in April, the country’s economy was in dire straits.
The Pakistani rupee surpassed the startling milestone of 200 against the greenback a day earlier. “When I took the oath on April 11, the rate of US dollar against the Pakistani currently was 189.”
“The Rs60-65 increase in the rupee value against the greenback wasn’t the coalition government’s fault,” he said, adding that when the former government speculated that they would be ousted, they reduced the petroleum prices despite a price hike in the international market, thus going against the conditions of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Criticising the previous government, the premier said that the previous government did not provide any relief to the people of Pakistan in the last three-and-a-half years.
“During the PTI’s tenure loans worth Rs22,000 billion were taken which shows an 80% increase from 2018,” he said, adding that “powerful echelons” in the country supported their “favourite” person.
He further added that if the PML-N government would have been given 30% of this support the economy would have flourished. PM Shehbaz Sharif further questioned when load-shedding had been eliminated and how did the problem arise again.
Shedding light on his decision regarding the ban imposed on the import of luxury and non-essential items, PM Shehbaz Sharif said that while he banned the import of certain items for some time, he did not increase the duties because the “elite class would have still purchased imported items after paying duties.” “We have to make sacrifices during these difficult times,” he said.
PM Shehbaz Sharif said his goal is to stabilise the dollar rate, emphasising that sales of locally-produced goods need to be increased.
The premier expressed hope that he would succeed in his plans to bring the economy back on track. He said: “I believe that the country will flourish once people unite. We will move forward with everyone by our side.”
Identifying the issues of the metropolitan, the prime minister said that the “biggest” issue being faced therein was the lack of water. He urged the Sindh government, MQM-P, and the business community to devise a strategy unanimously.
“Pakistan is likely to receive an investment worth $1 billion from Saudi Arabia,” he said. Regarding the power crisis, the premier said: “Pakistan cannot afford to purchase gas worth $20 billion; we have to slowly and gradually move towards solar and wind energy.” “If green energy comes to Pakistan, we will save Pakistan’s funds,” he reiterated.
Shehbaz Sharif said that former PM Imran Khan has laid a trap for the next government and reduced petroleum prices fearing no-trust move, while the new government suffer a setback at the outset but now the sacrifice has to be made.
Shehbaz Sharif said that he has not come for political point scoring but to know the solution of the real problems. He said coalition partners have chosen him as the candidate for the premiership, adding that electricity projects were started during PML-N government’s tenure.
Finance Minister Dr. Miftah Ismail, provincial ministers Nasir Hussain Shah, Saeed Ghani, Manzoor Hussain Wassan and leaders of the Karachi Chambers of Commerce and Industry were also present on the occasion.
Meanwhile Turkish Minister for National Defence, Hulusi Akar held delegation-level talks with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in Karachi on Friday.
Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister highly appreciated the deep-rooted strategic cooperation between the two brotherly countries in all fields including shipbuilding, engineering, solid waste management and transport.
He also thanked the government and people of Turkey for their unwavering support to Pakistan’s stance on Kashmir issue at all international fora.
The Prime Minister directed the authorities concerned to benefit from Turkish expertise and experience in all possible avenues.