ISLAMABAD: Amid unbridled price hike in the country, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has claimed that doomsday scenario is over and sincere efforts are being made to address economic challenges the country faces.
“Yes, we do face the economic challenges, but the doomsday scenario is past us. Sincere efforts are being made to address the challenges through economic belt-tightening and timely policy interventions,” the prime minister said on Monday on Twitter.
The prime minister, however, put the blame of the prevailing economic meltdown on former prime minister Imran Khan and his government’s policies.
The prime minister’s statement has come at a time when there is no control of the government as well as the local administration on sky-rocketing prices of all essential commodities which are increasing with every passing day. “We are also working with friends and partners to bridge the financing gaps where needed,” the prime minister said.
Mr Sharif stressed the need for increasing exports to reduce dependence on imports to save the foreign exchange.
“The real challenge for us is to reduce our dependence on imports and bring down inflation, which is possible when we make exports, investment and productivity the engine of the economy. This is where our efforts are headed,” the prime minister said.
Criticising economic policies of the PTI government, Mr Sharif said that Imran Khan’s understanding of the economy and the broader environment in which it operated was quite limited.
“He (Imran) also conveniently forgot his own role in deepening economic challenges,” he added.
Mr Sharif said that from scrapping the IMF deal, Mr Khan had always wished Pakistan to default.
“This is in addition to the adverse impact his politics of non-stop agitation, long marches and dharnas has had on the economy in terms of causing political instability,” the prime minister said.
He said even Pakistani investors would shy away from investing their capital in such an unstable environment deliberately created by Mr Khan.
Mr Sharif said: “The terrible events of May 9 alone have cost the economy billions of rupees & are an irrefutable endorsement of his nefarious designs. This is not to mention the plethora of corruption cases he is involved in.”
Published in Dawn, May 30th, 2023