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PM announces high-powered commission to probe how foreign debt increased to Rs24,000b

PM announces high-powered commission to probe how foreign debt increased to Rs24,000b
June 12, 2019
ISLAMABAD (92 News) – Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan has announced to form a high-powered commission to probe how the foreign debt increased to Rs 24,000 billion. Addressing to the nation on Tuesday night, he said that the commission will comprise of the representatives of the FBR, SECP and ISI. “I will not spare thieves and dacoits no matter I lose my life.” The prime minister said that they would investigate as how the country was destroyed during 10 years. “Those hurling a threat of toppling the government should blackmail someone else,” he said. Imran Khan reiterated that the head of state is answerable and not above the law. “Our government has presented its first-ever budget. This is the budget which will reflect ideology of New Pakistan. New Pakistan will be built on principles of the state of Madina. Remember! Pakistan is going to be a great country. The Madina state was a model state. It is sorrowful that the principles exist only in Western world.” “They say Riyasat-e-Madina is a 1400-year-old model, it was a modern state," he said. "Minorities were part and parcel of the state, everyone was equal in the eyes of the law. Ever since we came to power, I hear [the question]: 'where is the new Pakistan? The state of Madina wasn't this way from day one. There was a process and then the time came when the whole Arabian peninsula was ruled by them and then the whole world saw a change.” The prime minister mentioned that it was the biggest principle of the Madina state that restricted the head of state to become accountable. “Value of humanity was present in the state and [rights of] a citizen belongs to minority community was equivalent to other citizens,” he said. About the recent arrests of the bigwigs, Prime Minister Imran said: “I am grateful to Allah, the big figures are now jailed, no one could imagine it. The judiciary is free today. The NAB chairman is not ours, we didn't appoint anyone. This is the new Pakistan and you will slowly see the independence in institutions.” He explained how the two former governments had been involved in corruption and burdened the country with huge foreign loans. The prime minister said that the two political parties entered into an alliance and kept bringing a chairman of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) of their own choice. "We did not appoint the NAB chairman; the PML-N and the PPP appointed him," he said. "I did not form cases against the opposition [members]." Khan noted the mega money laundering case against Asif Ali Zardari was registered by the the PML-N, adding that the opposition wanted an NRO (National Reconciliation Ordinance). "Today hue and cry is being raised that Zardari is in jail, and Nawaz league and PPP have come together," he lamented. “My mistake is that I didn't succumb to pressure and give them an NRO [National Reconciliation Ordinance]. The country fell into debt because of two NROs. People are crying that Sharif and Zardari have been jailed. Both of them used to call each other corrupt. Mian Nawaz Sharif jailed Zardari twice during his two tenures,” he said. “The problem we [PTI] are facing is how to run the government — this is the price we are paying for the NROs.” The address, which was earlier slated for 9:15pm, was moved to 10:30pm but started a little before midnight. Earlier, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Political Affairs Naeemul Haque, PM Imran Khan will address at 10:30pm and take the nation into confidence over current political and economic situation. He said that the premier to discuss country’s overall situation, economic issues and its causes in his address. Naeemul Haque expressed anguish over opposition’s attitude during the budget speech in the National Assembly and added that misbehave had become a trademark of Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N). Extremely bad and goonda like behaviour by PMLN under the able guidance of Shahbaz not so Sharif . PPP also joined this Gondal Gardi. I am not sure if Shabaz and Bilawal can speak in the NA in this session . Shahbaz might as well go back to London for another holiday. — Naeem ul Haque (@naeemul_haque) June 11, 2019 Hammad Azhar presents Federal Budget 2019-2020 Earlier today,  Minister of State for Revenue Hammad Azhar presented the Federal Budget 2018-19 in the National Assembly. In his budget speech, he started off by shedding light on the gloomy economic situation of the country before the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s regime. He mentioned that Pakistan’s total debt had reached Rs31 trillion owing to high-interest loans taken by the previous government. Moreover, he mentioned that the foreign exchange reserves had dropped below $10 billion, current account deficit (CAD) had reached $20 billion, whereas the trade deficit had reached $32 billion. “Pakistan received a bailout package from International Monetary Fund (IMF), along with financial assistance worth $6 billion from Saudi Arabia in the form of deferred oil payments to alleviate the burden on foreign exchange reserves,” he maintained. “There has been no increase in exports in the past five years,” he said. “Due to financial mismanagement, the deficit reached Rs2260bn. Circular debt in the energy sector reached Rs1200bn.” The minister said measures taken by the PTI-led government have resulted in remittances rising by $2bn, and Rs12bn decrease per month in circular debt in the energy sector. Azhar added that the 11 per cent tax to GDP ratio currently, was the lowest in the region. There were only 50 per cent of SECP registered companies paying tax. “We will have to change this culture.” Hammad Azhar has delineated the key points for Budget 2020, saying the government’s key priorities were public welfare and well being and reducing the external deficit.