‘PTI’s tenure witnessed record growth in several sectors,’ says Shaukat Tarin

ISLAMABAD: Former finance minister Senator Shaukat Tarin said Saturday that PTI’s tenure witnessed “record growth” in several sectors and the government was misleading the people by claiming they face an uphill task on the economic front.

“All the numbers are published and public. Please take the country’s economy seriously and stop misleading the people. The numbers don’t lie despite your ‘spin doctory’,” said Senator Tarin in a press conference flanked by PTI leaders.

The former finance minister told the journalists that during PTI’s tenure, the country’s debt did not increase by 80%, it moved up by 76%. He said although the loans were substantial, the country’s economy went up by the same margin.

“When you took over the government after PPP, it was your government that increase the overall loans by 80%, have you forgotten that?” Tarin asked the PML-N — the major player in the coalition government.

The former finance minister said PTI created 5.5 million jobs during its tenure, which means that the ousted government was able to create 1.84 million jobs annually, while PML-N created 1.1 million and PPP 1.4 million.

“If you look at the data, our remittances, exports, and textile sector witnessed record growth. We did all this, but they included it in their Economic Survey,” said the senator.

The former finance minister said it is because of the PTI that the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) clocked in at 6%, but the government, in the budget for the fiscal year 2022-23, has projected it to be 5%.

The Shehbaz Sharif-led coalition government yesterday unveiled the “toughest” federal budget for fiscal year 2022-23 with an outlay of Rs9.5 trillion amid strict conditions of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for the revival of the $6 billion loan programme stalled since months over policy breaches.

Finance Minister Miftah Ismail, while presenting the budget proposals, berated the “incompetent” PTI-led government for its performance, saying that the current budget focuses on “sustainable and inclusive growth”.

But Tarin said the coalition government has eyed 3.9% growth in the agriculture sector, which clocked in at 4.4% during PTI’s tenure. “And they are talking about such a growth when they have created a water crisis and fertilizers are at record prices — there will not be even 3.9%.”

Finance Minister Mifath, said that the government did not want growth at the cost of ballooning current account deficit and widening the fiscal deficit — that is why they have set modest growth targets for the next fiscal year.