By Shahzada Ahsan Ashraf
PTI government claimed to put the economy on right track. But it is on verge of collapse despite bail out packages by friendly countries.
It claimed to resolve the country’s problems through honest leadership. The leadership of PTI government boasted of inviting overseas Pakistanis to invest in Pakistan. This plan miserably failed. It had announced to bring back US$ 200 billion stashed abroad by Pakistanis. However, it also failed completely.
It promised to bring tax reforms to bring more people under tax net. It had also pledged to bring the black economy in tax net but failed even to bring 1 per cent in tax net. Instead policies adopted by PTI government did not bring any change and it relied on excessive taxation on indirect taxes.
The PML-N government’s policies had caused decline in exports and PTI government had announced to increase them. It compressed imports by imposing taxes on items what government called luxurious. But there has no reasonable increase in exports and shortfall in revenue has increased. The prices of all items had gone up following raise in prices of gas and electricity. The Prime Minister Imran urges nation now to stay strong in face of rising inflation. So, this is antidote now for the oppressed people.
Now, the people should be ready to face the worst situation. The clutches of IMF are ready now. IMF man has taken control of State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to implement banks’ agenda. This is bad luck of this country. My dear country men, fasten your seat belt time is coming for fly high.
The dollar has already taken high flight before IMF program. After maturing IMF deal, dollar is expected to be Rs 160 to Rs 65 by end of the year. So, people would be facing another hike in prices of gas and electricity. The inflation would further go up and life would become more miserable in coming months. Thanks to populist government of PTI.
Massive increase in electricity and gas prices are expected. The government may withdraw Rs 700 billion on tax exemptions and interest rate to be raised to at least 12%. Many new taxes will be levied and existing rate of taxes may be increased to boost revenue. The expectation is that there would be increase in indirect taxes. From the way things are going it seems very difficult Pakistan will be able to complete the program.
The writer is former federal minister and chairman PIA