Imran Khan targeting Pakistan’s key institutions to destabilize country: Ahsan Iqbal

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ISLAMABAD: Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal Thursday said that former Prime Minister Imran Khan was targeting Pakistan’s key institutions aimed at destabilizing the country. He said Imran Khan was deliberately spreading anarchy against the country’s key institutions. He said the social campaign against the state institutions was well planned and aimed at destabilizing the country. Addressing a press conference here, the minister said “We will not let Imran Khan target the nation and the country’s institutions through his negative politics. He said due to the unprecedented increase in international prices of crude oil, the government had no option but to increase the local prices but still, the government had withdrawn all the taxes and levies on the petroleum products. He said the country’s current economic situation was due to the mismanagement of the previous government. The minister explained that the economy of any country grows with the development activities, but unfortunately for the last four years, the country’s development budget kept on decreasing instead of increasing. “In 2018, when we left the government, Rs 1000 billion was allocated to both defense and PSDP. “Today when after four years, I take over the charge, the allocation was Rs 900 billion,  but only Rs 550 billion could be spent during the outgoing year due to fiscal constraints, he added. He said the finance division categorically declined to issue further releases to the PSDP since the end of the third quarter of the outgoing fiscal year.The minister informed that Imran Khan Government had agreed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that all subsidies on the petroleum products would be withdrawn and further taxes would be charged on the products. He also blamed the previous government for rapidly depleting the country’s foreign exchange reserves. He said the coalition government was well aware of the worse situation, but “we had no choice but to take the charge of the government only to save the country’s future. He said Pakistan needed stability and the coalition government could easily go for the next general election but the country could have collapsed during the interim government. Therefore, he said the coalition government took the toughest decision to save the country’s future. He said for the next fiscal year, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) revenues target had been set at around Rs 7000 billion and after paying the provinces’ share, only Rs 3000 billion would be left with the federal government. The federal government had liabilities of over Rs 6000 to 7000 billion so in order to meet all these expenditures, the federal government would have to take further loans. In four years, he said the annual debt service was Rs 1500 billion but now it had increased to Rs 4000 billion.

 

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