Finance minister briefs ‘straight-faced’ President Alvi on govt economic plan

Published November 19, 2022
ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar calls on President Dr Arif Alvi, at Aiwan-i-Sadr, on Friday.—Courtesy PID
ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar calls on President Dr Arif Alvi, at Aiwan-i-Sadr, on Friday.—Courtesy PID

ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Friday called on President Dr Arif Alvi and briefed him on the government’s plans to provide relief to the masses hit by unprecedented inflation.

According to a press release of the Presidency issued here, Mr Dar and President Alvi discussed the overall economic and financial outlook of the country.

“In the meeting held at the Aiwan-i-Sadr, the finance minister briefed the president on various steps taken by the government to provide relief to the general public, particularly the unprivileged population and the flood-affected people,” the press release said.

“Various matters concerning finance and economy also came under discussion,” it added.

Though nothing was said officially, PML-N sources say that the issue of selection of army chief was also discussed.

In the video clip of the meeting released by the Presidency, the body language of President Alvi and his expression-less face was quite obvious as if he was not pleased with meeting the finance minister. Mr Alvi also did not see in the eyes of Mr Dar, sitting close to him, even for a single time in the clip.

On Thursday, PTI Chairman Imran Khan had expressed the fear that Pakistan would have to compromise on its national security if the country defaulted and went bankrupt. He had claimed that the country’s default risk was a mere five per cent when he was in power earlier this year, adding that the “imported” government had ruined the country’s economy.

Also, PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry in a statement pointed out that statistics released by the State Bank of Pakistan on Wednesday had shown that Pakistan’s total debt and liabilities had gone up to an unsustainable 24 per cent or Rs62.5 trillion at the end of September 2022.

Mr Chaudhry said the total liabilities of the country, mainly the government debt, had surged by Rs12 trillion, or 23.7 per cent as compared to the last year’s. “The figures reported in the central bank’s latest debt bulletin suggest that no political party, neither the PTI nor the PML-N, has a solution of our growing debt problem. With the mounting number of loans, coupled with a lack of resources to repay, the country’s destiny has been placed in the hands of international financial institutions and the global powers,” the PTI leader said.

Published in Dawn, November 19th, 2022

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