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Economy in much better condition than in 2018, says Hammad Azhar

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ISLAMABAD – Federal Finance and Revenue Minister Hammad Azhar said on Sunday that despite the challenges, the country’s economy was in much better shape than it was in 2018 when the current government took over. the power.

In a live telephone conversation with Prime Minister Imran Khan, the Federal Minister said there was no doubt that challenges were there, but there was a sea of ​​difference between the Pakistan of 2018 and Pakistan today.

He said that in 2018 Pakistan was on the verge of default, but that today’s Pakistan, even after the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, was progressing better on the growth path and progress, and was well ahead of the growth forecast.

He said that in 2018 the economic indicators were in worse condition and could not be shared with the public through the media due to their negative impact.

“If we had openly talked to people about these indicators, it would have created a crisis in the currency market and the stock market,” he said and noted that the country was practically on the brink of default.

Foreign exchange reserves were nearing completion, and the existing $ 7-8 billion in the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) were reserves on the basis of short-term loans, which had to be repaid in two to three months.

In this condition, added the minister, the government had to make difficult decisions and had to devalue the currency and raise interest rates. Subsequently, these decisions started to pay off and the historic current account deficit the government inherited turned into a surplus after 17 years.

After that, global organizations, which had previously degraded the economy, began to modernize it a year after the current government came to power.

He said that in the middle of the path of economic recovery was successfully unfolding, when the Covid-19 pandemic hit the world and squeezed economies by five to ten percent, especially in India, the UK and In other countries.

“We have moved forward with an appropriate strategy and have not blindly followed Western policy, and our economy only suffered a 0.4 percent contraction and that was also covered very early on,” he said. he adds. He said the government introduced a timely program during covid-19, canceled electricity bills for three million businesses, while 170 million families received immediate help through the EHSAS program.

He said companies are enjoying easy lending and a number of packages have been announced which has resulted in economic recovery and growth, as is clearly shown by the fact that SBP is now forecasting double growth compared to projections. previous ones.

He said that despite COVID-19, large-scale manufacturing (LSM) grew by 8% as automobiles and cement saw historic sales. Sales of urea-based fertilizers broke the 10-year record while there were also record sales of tractors.

In the meantime, he said, around 100 textile factories that had been closed in PML tenures have been revived while thousands of power looms, which were closed in Faisalabad have also been restored.

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