PTI leader Hammad Azhar. — APP

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Hammad Azhar Friday slammed Finance Minister Ishaq Dar for presenting the pre-budget Pakistan Economic Survey 2022-23.

The politician said Dar should have also presented his resignation along with the economic survey.

Lashing out at the Pakistan Democratic Movement’s (PDM) coalition government, the former finance minister said: “The economic destruction that PDM did in one year did not happen in any war or epidemic.”

Azhar and other PTI leaders, since their party chairman’s ouster in April last year following a vote of no confidence, have been critical of the PDM coalition government’s economic policy.

‘This ain’t working’

Meanwhile, PTI’s Asad Umar termed the country’s economic collapse “catastrophic.”

“GDP growth declined from 6.1% last year to 0.3% this year as per govt statistics. This is the biggest growth decline since 1971 for Pak. Add the highest inflation in nations history,” he wrote, taking to Twitter.

The former minister reminded the government that “this ain’t working. Time to rethink, reset & revive.”

A day earlier, the finance czar presented the pre-budget survey during a presser in Islamabad as part of his first budget for Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif-led government.

The federal administration’s budget, which will be announced today, is said to be eagle-eyed by analysts for any hints about populist dole-outs and they would also try to ascertain if the government was willing to pursue economic discipline required to enter another International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme.

According to the economic survey, Pakistan’s GDP growth rate came to a crawl in the ongoing fiscal year — one of the worst in terms of meeting annual macroeconomic targets — dragged down by agitational politics, cataclysmic floods, trade barriers, and a dangling IMF bailout on top of bare minimum foreign exchange reserves.

At the start of the presser, Dar reminded the journalists of 2013 when Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government took charge. He explained that at the time the economy was in tatters, there was loadshedding of 18 hours and terrorism was on the rise.

“We followed our ‘three-e’s’ concept and Pakistan saw macroeconomic growth,” recalled Dar, adding that now, we are focusing on five-es — exports, equity, empowerment, environment, and energy. These are our five driving areas.

Following were the key takeaways from the economic survey:

  • Real GDP posted a growth of 0.29% in FY23.
  • GDP at current market prices stand at Rs84,657.9 billion in FY23, showing a growth of 27.1% over last year (Rs 66,623.6 billion).
  • Per capita income stood at $1,568 as compared to $1,765 last year.
  • Investment to GDP ratio stood at 13.6% in FY23 compared to 15.6% in FY22.
  • Growth of agriculture sector estimated at 1.55% in FY23.
  • The industrial sector posted a negative growth of 2.94% in FY23.
  • Services sector witnessed meager growth of 0.86%.

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