PM Imran heaps praise on govt economic team, says inflation to be overcome

Updated November 22, 2019

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Prime Minister Imran Khan addressing a ceremony in Mianwali on Friday, November 22, 2019 — DawnNewsTV
Prime Minister Imran Khan addressing a ceremony in Mianwali on Friday, November 22, 2019 — DawnNewsTV

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday assured the nation that he will overcome inflation in the country caused by the flawed policies of previous regimes.

Addressing a public gathering in his native Mianwali after performing the groundbreaking of a number of welfare projects, the prime minister once again recalled that his government had inherited multiple economic issues including low foreign exchange reserves, a huge circular debt, and fiscal and current account deficits.

Read more: Nation wants to know who funded PTI from India, Middle East, US: Ahsan Iqbal

He said the previous administration had been spending reserve dollars to stabilise and maintain the value of the local currency against the dollar. The PTI government had not found enough dollars to follow suit so a correction strategy followed, he added.

As a result, the value of the rupee against the dollar depreciated by 35 per cent. Prime Minister Imran said he was grateful that the rupee devalued by "only 35pc" as it could depreciate to Rs250 against the greenback due to the external accounts' situation.

It was the rupee devaluation that opened the floodgates for inflation, the premier said. "We didn't increase the inflation," he stressed, holding the former regimes of the PML-N and PPP responsible for the prevailing situation.

The prime minister, however, announced that the country's economy is on a correction course and the measures taken by the PTI government have now started yielding results.

"I am proud of my economic team. During the last four months, our CAD came to an end. As a result the rupee's value increased by Rs4."

He said that the economy has now adopted the right direction and as a result the confidence of foreign investors is restoring in the local economy, businesses are returning to the country and the Pakistan stock market is picking up.

Talking about the local bodies system, the prime minister said that his government wants to install a mechanism which would work for the betterment of people no matter who is at the helm of the affairs.

Citing examples from Western countries, he said that the provincial governments of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab will be introducing a local government system under which elections will be held at the village level and development funds will be transferred directly from the provinces to the villages.

Under the new local bodies system, villagers will oversee the functioning of schools, basic health units and police stations. Similarly, in urban areas the elected city mayors will constitute their teams and will be responsible for the development of their respective cities, the premier said.

Coming to the subject of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif's departure to London, the prime minister said that he was forced to stare at the PML-N supremo's medical reports after seeing the former premier board the air ambulance. The report listed 15 diseases including cardiac complications and suggested that Nawaz was at the verge of his demise, Prime Minister Imran noted.

He said that after seeing Nawaz board the air ambulance, he (Imran) wondered if the former prime minister "got healthy with the first glance of the London-bound airplane".