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Shaukat Tarin urges government to renegotiate IMF loan deal

By on September 3, 2022 0

CARACHI:

Former finance minister and PTI leader Shaukat Tarin has urged the federal government to renegotiate the loan agreement with the International Monetary Fund following the devastating floods, saying importing cheap oil from Russia was a better option.

“The government should demand a flood relief program from the IMF so that it can provide targeted subsidies to flood victims,” ​​Tarin told a news conference here on Saturday.

However, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail claimed in a separate press conference held in the federal capital that former Finance Minister Tarin’s press conference differed from the facts.

He said the PTI had made deals with the IMF to make electricity and oil more expensive, the effect of which continued even during “our government’s tenure”. The PTI government raised Rs 19 trillion in loans during his tenure, he claimed.

Regarding the verbal squabble between the Center and the PTI leadership, Tarin asked, “Whose conspiracy to leak the call tape before the IMF program?

The PTI leader claimed that the leaked phone call recordings did not undermine the agreement with the IMF, however.

Read more: “The scale of the losses is enormous compared to the resources”: the government and the army are resolved to fight against the floods

Tarin said, “I didn’t come to do a job or do politics, but I am doing Jihad for the good of the country.

He questioned the integrity of the government, asking that he came to save the country or destroy it. He denied the message created by linking his words in the leaked audio.

Last month, two audio clips surfaced via TV stations and social media in which a man said to be Tarin could be heard guiding Punjab Finance Minister Mohsin Leghari to tell the Federal Government and the IMF that he would not be able to commit to a provincial budget. surplus in light of the recent floods that have ravaged the country.

“We just wanted the provincial finance minister to write to the federal government to ‘put the pressure on them (the IMF)’…they jail us, lay terrorism charges against us and they walk away completely unscathed. We cannot allow this to happen,” Tarin told Leghari.

Leghari asked Tarin if the activity would harm the state. Tarin replied, “Well… frankly, doesn’t the state suffer from the way it treats your president and everyone else? It will certainly happen that the IMF will ask “where are you going to organize the money from” and they (the government) will bring another mini-budget.

Tarin said it couldn’t be allowed ‘for them to mistreat us and for us to stand to one side and blackmail us on behalf of the state and ask for help and we keep abusing them. to help”.

In the other audio, Tarin could be heard asking Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Finance Minister Taimur Jhagra if he had written a similar letter.

“[The IMF commitment] is a blackmail tactic and no one will release money anyway. I won’t release them, I don’t know anything about Leghari,” said the man, presumed to be Jhagra.

Addressing the press conference, Tarin said former Prime Minister Imran Khan was raising funds for flood victims across the country. “(Finance Minister) Miftah Ismail is trying but he is under a lot of pressure.”

He said allegations of treason were made while listening to the phone calls, accusing PTI leaders of undermining the integrity of Pakistan. “Imran Khan organized a telethon for the welfare of people across the country and my father served prison sentences for the good of the country.”

Tarin said he benefits the country’s financial institutions and still pays taxes. “I had (former PM and PML-N leader) Shahid Khaqan Abbasi come to an agreement with the Malaysian oil company. I want to tell Abbasi that Tarin is not a traitor,” Tarin said, urging all political parties, including the PTI, not to distribute certificates of treason.

He predicted a 53% increase in the gas tariff and taxes in the coming days.

Tarin claimed that if the PTI government had remained in place, he would have given his leave to the IMF in September.

The report released by the IMF emphasizing the increase in tax revenue and foreign exchange reserves “is a hoax”, he said, adding that the PTI stood before the IMF.

Ismail’s Presser

Finance Minister Ismail said on Saturday that true freedom meant economic autonomy, without which the concept of freedom and autonomy could not be achieved.

“The PTI government has retired 79% of the external debt of the total debt incurred in the history of the country,” he said.

The finance minister said that during PTI’s tenure, Pakistan’s imports soared to $80 billion while the trade deficit reached $48 billion, which was a record high in the country’s history.

Miftah wondered how the PTI could talk about real freedom without achieving economic self-sufficiency.

The minister said: “We have saved the country from a situation like Sri Lanka, where petrol and gas are out.”

Miftah said the former PTI government was leading the country towards bankruptcy and the PML-N government – under the leadership of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif – saved the country from bankruptcy.

The minister criticized the role of the PTI, saying that the country was going through a critical moment after the floods when the PTI was busy in its policy to change the national interest.

Miftah said former Prime Minister Imran failed to deliver on any of his promises, including building five million houses.

The finance minister argued that the government was distributing 25,000 rupees to four million families each in the flood-affected areas, which would cost a total of 70 billion rupees.

He said cotton, sugar cane and date crops had been destroyed in Sindh.

He said the government would import tomatoes and onions from Turkey and Afghanistan, adding that inflation would be brought under control in the next two months.

Ismail said PTI was investing $25,000 per month in lobbying, which was against the national interest in the current situation.