Islamabad, Apr 10 : Pakistan's new Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has claimed that the Musharraf regime presented false figures about the economy and created mess on the economic front.
He said that the public debt touched new height during the last eight years. According to him, it rose to Rs 2946 billion from 1947 to 1999, but climbed to Rs 5695 billion by June 2008, showing an increase of Rs 2749 billion in the last eight years. "Those who claim to have broken the begging bowl have actually enlarged it," he remarked.
He said that Pakistan's economic situation was so "alarming" that the government had to revise downward all macro-economic projections, including GDP growth target from 7.2 per cent to six per cent, fiscal deficit target surged from 4.5 per cent of GDP to over six per cent
Addressing press persons at the PM Secretariat last evening, Dar said that the entire figures about the country's economy would be presented before the Parliament soon for action against those who violated their own Fiscal Responsibility Law.
"The mismanagement of economy has resulted in overspending of Rs 558 billion and if the government does not take corrective measures then fiscal deficit will touch 9.5 per cent of GDP by June 2008," The News quoted Dar as saying.
He said the caretaker government was also responsible for this mess, as they too took no step to control the situation. Instead, they hiked POL prices and power tariff, he said and added that over 73.6 per cent population lived below poverty line, according to two dollar a day definition.
To improve the economic situation, he said, the government would generate 2.5 billion dollars from foreign inflows, reducing expenditure and by mobilising revenue generation from various avenues to revive the derailed economy.
The federal minister also outlined the coalition government's strategy to revive the economy, saying that the government would focus on hitherto neglected agriculture and manufacturing sectors in the months ahead.