Finance minister says Tarin’s audio tape about IMF loan a ‘shameful act’ n Asks Imran Khan to apologise to nation.

ISLAMABAD    -    Finance Minister Miftah Ismail on Monday lam­basted the PTI’s leader­ship for allegedly con­spiring to sabotage the International Monetary Fund (IMF) program.

“The flood has caused destruction every­where in the country. Pakistan is sinking, and IMF is the only support we have. [But] the PTI committed a mean act. Asad Umar gave expla­nations on behalf of Shaukat Tarin. He was not ashamed,” said the Finance Minister at a press conference here.

He criticized the PTI on the leaked audio in which former Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin is directing Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkha­wa’s finance ministers to backtrack from the already signed Memo­randum of Understand­ing (MoU) with the Cen­tre for generating a revenue surplus during the current fiscal year, in order to damage the IMF’s deal.

Miftah said that ex­pected losses due to floods are projected at around $10 billion. He said that the govern­ment would talk with the IMF on the post-flood situation. He fur­ther said that the gov­ernment could consider importing vegetables and other edible items from India for the fa­cilitation of the people in the wake of destruc­tion of standing crops in Pakistan due to re­cent floods. Prime Min­around $10 billion. He said that the government would talk with the IMF on the post-flood situation. He fur­ther said that the government could consider importing vegetables and other edible items from India for the facilitation of the people in the wake of destruction of standing crops in Pakistan due to recent floods. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had already announced Rs15 billion for Sindh, Rs7.5 billion for Balochistan and there is more demand of Rs100 bil­lion, he added. The Finance Minister said that Shaukat Tarin is the mas­termind of the whole conspiracy. If you are clever, are we children? Do we not understand (your tactics)?” he asked.

He further said that PTI chairman and former Prime Minister Imran Khan considers himself above ev­erything. What ‘cannon did he fire’ when he was in power? Imran Khan should tell what he did in 10 years in Khyber Pakhunkhwa”. He demand­ed that Imran Khan should apologize to the nation. “Shaukat Tarin should quit politics. His conversation has come to the light. You have crossed all lines this time,” he said while tar­geting the PTI. The KP finance minis­ter had told him that he had not sent the letter to the IMF. However, Miftah said that he has verified that the let­ter was sent to the IMF.

He said that PML-N had taken the government at a difficult time as even party highups opposed it. “Some PML-N leaders — including Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Nawaz Sharif — were against coming into power.” The PML-N is paying political cost for saving the country from the possible default. “I told Shehbaz Sharif that the country has almost bankrupted”. Then, the coalition government had taken tough decisions including in­creasing petrol and electricity prices to save the country from default. The PTI government had breached the IMF’s deal, which resulted in the sus­pension of the loan program, he add­ed. The Finance Minister informed that the incumbent government had negotiated the loan program, which was agreed by the PTI government. However, it had not accepted the tough decisions of increasing petro­leum levy and General Sales Tax on oil products, as the incumbent gov­ernment is not charging GST. “We saved the country from bankruptcy by putting our politics at stake.