ISLAMABAD (INP): President Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) Dr. Murtaza Mughal has said former prime minister Imran Khan increased the debt burden to unsustainable levels and left the country almost bankrupt. He said the ex-PM handled government and economy like a game of cricked, as he kept borrowing heavily from all available sources and wasted funds mercilessly for popularity resulting in unprecedented economic devastation.
In a statement issued on Monday, Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that the new government should give first preference to the economic revival otherwise the country will be completely bankrupted soon.
He said that during the PTI regime had promised a change but it only pushed masses into deep economic crisis. The GDP continued a fall, inflation continued to rise while the rupee continued to depreciate which is a record in the country’s history.
Trade and current account deficits widened sharply, local and foreign investment fell severely, per capita GDP fell by 30% and the stock market never once reached the 2017 level during the former government.
The President PEW said that Pakistan’s monthly imports are almost six billion dollars while the central bank lacks foreign exchange reserves to cover imports for two months which is alarming.
Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that the new government should reduce the pace of borrowing, stop harassment of the business community to lure investment and stop flight of capital.
Bureaucracy should be given relief from NAB’s deliberate harassment so that they can start delivering as the former government harassed businessmen and bureaucrats for ulterior motives which damaged the development process.
Innocent bureaucrats were arrested for political purposes which sent a negative message and they consider it safe to postpone everything and wait for their retirement instead of working.
The politics of revenge nullified the performance of the previous government but the former prime minister was not ready to understand it, resulting in economic freefall, he observed.
He said that the new government should restore the IMF program without delay, restore the confidence of government officials, get rid of the institutions which are losing billions of rupees annually, work on CPEC should be resumed at the same pace, speculators should be taken to task.
Chinese companies which were discouraged during Khan’s administration should be allowed to operate in Pakistan, FBR should be made a business friendly institution and all laws related to economics should be improved to ensure a rapid turnaround.
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