PTI govt adding Rs21b to national debt every day, says Dar

By: News Desk      Published: 10:39 PM, 21 Mar, 2020
PTI govt adding Rs21b to national debt every day, says Dar
Former finance minister Ishaq Dar.–File photo

Former finance minister Ishaq Dar has said the PTI government is adding Rs21 billion per day to the national debt.

By the time the incumbent government would complete its tenure in 2023, he said, Pakistan’s total national debt would increase from Rs24.2 trillion on June 30, 2018 to Rs47.4 trillion on June 30, 2023, with a 97 percent increase in five years.

In a video message, Dar said: “The government’s economic and fiscal policy is a total failure. It’s my sincerest advice to Imran Khan that he should quit the government and start raising funds like he has been doing in the past.” He said that Prime Minister Imran Khan has been extremely critical of the PML-N government as leader of the opposition a few years ago over foreign debt.

He said that Khan did not stop the PML-N criticism even after coming into power and continued to criticise it even during his visits to countries like China, Saudi Arabia and the United States. He said that Khan always talked about the increasing foreign debt and held the PML-N responsible for it. As a result, he said, Khan destroyed the international community’s confidence in Pakistan instead of doing any good to the country. He said that Khan had promised during his election campaign that he would bring the foreign debt down by Rs10,000 billion. He said that Pakistan’s foreign debt stood at Rs24200 billion on June 30, 2018, when the PML-N completed its tenure. Going by Khan’s promise, he said, Pakistan’s foreign debt should come down to Rs14,000 billion to Rs1,5000 billion during PTI’s rule.

Dar, who is also a former member of the Senate, said Khan is known for his U-turns and he has already taken a U-turn on his promises like building five million houses for the poor and creating 10 million jobs. He first said he would bring Pakistan’s debt down by Rs10,000 billion during his tenure, but later he revised the figures and said he would bring the national debt down to Rs20,000 billion by end of the tenure of his government in June 2023. He that reality is altogether different. He said that Khan added around Rs8,000 billion to the national debt in the first year of his government.

Dar said the PTI would criticise the PML-N government for adding Rs5 billion to the national debt on a daily basis, but the PML-N gave the country a lot of things against this debt, for example, 11,000 MW power projects, LNG plants of 3600 MW power generation capacity, Zarb-e-Azb and Radd-ul-Fasad military operations for restoration of peace, Karachi operation, 2500 KMs of roads and highways and thousands of development projects. He said the PML-N increased funds for the provinces from Rs1100 billion to Rs2100 billion and took the GDP growth rate to 6 percent. He said the PTI government too was adding a huge amount to the national debt on a daily basis, but it was giving the country nothing in response.