Islamabad [Pakistan], June 10 (ANI): Pakistan Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Friday presented the federal budget for Fiscal Year 2023-24 with a total outlay of Rs 14.5 trillion, ARY News reported.
ARY News is a Pakistani news channel.
Pakistan's National Assembly (NA) session began with the recitation of the Holy Quran followed by the national anthem. Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif was also in attendance.
The Finance Minister during his speech compared the economic performances of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) governments.
"During the PML-N's previous tenure, inflation was at 4 per cent," Ishaq Dar said, adding that Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) was ranked 5th in South Asia's best-performing market.
The minister noted that the PML-N completed new projects to meet the 'shortage of electricity' in the country.
"The infrastructure and motorways were developed, while employment opportunities were also created," Dar said, adding that the country's economy prospered during the PML-N's tenure.
He further said that the PTI government 'deliberately' ruined Pakistan's economy through energy subsidies. "The PTI government's incompetence led to the current challenges the country was facing," he added, as per ARY News.
Dar said that the previous government broke an agreement with International Monetary Fund (IMF) and damaged the country's reputation, adding that public debt and liabilities were "doubled during PTI's four-year tenure".
"Circular debt rose to Rs 129 billion per annum during PTI's four-year rule", he pointed out. He further lambasted the PTI government for 'destroying the country's economy', saying that the previous rulers laid 'economic mines' for the next regime.
Ishaq Dar maintained that the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) government was taking 'corrective measures to bring the economy back on track' after the PTI disaster. "By the help of Almighty Allah, the government saved Pakistan from getting default and exposed conspiratorial elements," he added, according to ARY News.
"Current account deficit decreased drastically during the fiscal year 2022-23," he said, adding that the incumbent government adopted "austerity measures" to reduce the deficit.
"The current government significantly reduced unnecessary expenditure", the minister said, adding that despite a huge increase in interest payments, the fiscal deficit was decreased.
As per ARY News, Ishaq Dar noted that the "PTI's selected government prioritized political interests over national", adding that the people of Pakistan know who "tried to save the country and who pushed it towards destruction".
The finance minister pointed out that the country has faced major economic problems due to floods. (ANI)