ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Asad Umar has said that the PTI government “inherited a deficit of $2 billion” which has already been “reduced by $1 billion”.
He said this at a special event held at the Jinnah Convention Centre in Islamabad to review his first 100 days in power.
Umar explained the government’s decision to also seek alternate channels instead of solely relying on the International Monetary Fund to plug the financing gap.
“Economists are asking me why I did not just close my eyes and sign IMF contract,” he said. “We will not hide behind the IMF. If we [sign a deal], we will do so on our terms, and we will not lie to the people even if the truth is bitter.”
The minister revealed that it was upon his advice that the PM reneged on his promise to not travel abroad in the first 100 days.
“I take credit for telling the PM that ‘you will have take a U-turn on your promise to not travel for 100 days because this was in favour of the country.'” he recalled. “So he agreed and toured different countries.”
Umar defended his taxation and pricing policies, explaining that the tariffs were hiked only of those commodities that are used by the affluent section of the society.
“I am not saying that all problems have been solved and Pakistanis are not facing any problems but in the past 100 days we have set the direction.”