ISLAMABAD: Former finance minister Shaukat Tarin has questioned the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) government for predicting an unusual fiscal deficit of Rs6.8 trillion despite it was standing at Rs4.6 trillion during Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) tenure, ARY News reported on Sunday.
Shaukat Tarin, while talking to ARY News programme ‘Aiteraz Hai’, expressed surprise over the prediction of Rs6.8 trillion deficit by the PML-N government. He said that the PTI government left the fiscal deficit at Rs4.6 trillion but the present government is predicting something unusual.
Tarin said that the fiscal deficit would be standing at Rs6.5 trillion if the PTI remained in power. “We were taking steps for reducing the fiscal deficit. My question is about the additional deficit of Rs2.2 trillion. What are the reasons behind the increasing fiscal deficit?”
“The price of onion was Rs32 per kilogram and tomato was Rs45 per kilogram. The prices of petrol and edible oil doubled last year. The prices of commodities should have been reduced. The reduction in commodity prices will decrease the fiscal deficit.”
The former finance minister said that he was not expecting the economic landmine’s statement from Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif. “Such statements come after playing with the national economy like political affairs,” criticised Tarin.
He advised the present finance minister Miftah Ismail to focus on the statistical realities instead of launching harsh criticism. He offered the PML-N government to consult him if they wanted to remove ‘landmines’ for strengthening the national economy.