Imran fails to deliver Covid stimulus package as promised

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The Public Accounts Committee however expressed its dissatisfaction over half baked information extended by the Secretary Finance regarding Covid-19-related expenditure…reports Asian Lite News

Pakistan PM Imran Khan has failed to deliver the pandemic economic stimulus package as promised, as per an audit report.

According to details shared in the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Wednesday, the Finance Ministry has released only Rs 186 billion out of total of Rs500 billion, which are only 37 percent of the total amount promised by the Prime Minister, according to the Nation.

Under PM package, relief to daily wagers was promised Rs 200 billion but the actual release was only Rs 16 billion, funding to the utilities stores was Rs 50 billion but it got only Rs 10 billion, subsidies to power and gas were Rs 100 billion but the sector received only Rs 15 billion.

However, under the head of relief to vulnerable families and panagahs was Rs 150 billion out of which a considerable amount of Rs145 billion was released by the finance ministry.

Meanwhile, the Secretary Finance informed the PAC that a total of Rs 1240 billion were planned to be spent for corona-related activities that includes Rs 365 billion non cash and Rs 875 billion cash expenditures.

“As far as the issue related to less spending is concerned, the corona relief package was not for one financial year but it is continuing even in current financial year,”

“The government had provided Rs 334 billion out of its own budget as supplementary grant during financial year 2019-20 while rest is being spent,” he added.

The Public Accounts Committee however expressed its dissatisfaction over half baked information extended by the Secretary Finance regarding Covid-19-related expenditure, according to the Nation.

Economic catastrophe

Pakistan National Assembly Opposition Leader Shehbaz Sharif has blamed the ruling Imran Khan government in Pakistan for economic catastrophe starting with a trade deficit of more than USD 5 billion.

Shehbaz said the record increase in the trade deficit was a clear indication of an imbalance in the country’s imports and exports. He said the latest statistics show that the inflow of dollars in the country had decreased, according to the Nation.

Further, the Opposition leader said that the economy was in reverse gear, while the industry, trade, commerce, and employment were all in deplorable shape and blamed Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government for it.

“Finance advisers were sometimes making contradictory statements on the rise and fall of inflation. Sometimes it is said that Pakistan was the cheapest country and sometimes global circumstances were blamed for the worsening situation,” he said.

“Instead of imposing a mini-budget and playing with future of the nation and country, the government should resign,” he added.

“The uniform application of 17 percent GST on more than 100 items will lead to further increase in inflation, he pointed out. He said it’s a global practice that amid high inflation GST was reduced, but in Pakistan, the world had turned upside down.

“The PML-N president said that this move would have dire consequences as it also exposes the fact that the government had not been able to increase tax base,” he added.

The opposition leader also mentioned that instead of imposing a mini-budget and playing with future of the nation and country, the government should resign. (ANI)

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