Hammad Azhar reveals what drove inflation in Pakistan to go up
ISLAMABAD: Minister for Economic Affairs Division Muhammad Hammad Azhar on Tuesday told how the inflation in the country had risen.
“We admit that inflation has risen, but why has it grown? It surged because the current account deficit, which we have reduced by 64 percent, was left so huge by the previous government that the national currency was under pressure. We did not have foreign exchange reserves to support our currency,” Hammad Azhar said while addressing a news conference.
He said the State Bank of Pakistan had to slide the currency which pushed inflation higher, however the currency had been stable for the last few months now. “Hence, we expect the main driver of the inflation to reduce in the coming days.”
The minister said during the Pakistan Peoples Party’s first 13 months, inflation rate was 21 percent, in PML-N’s first 13 months, inflation ratio was 8.4 percent, while in Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)’s first 13 months, inflation was 8 percent.
“So, those who are protesting against the government should know how much the inflation was during their first 13 months,” he said adding that the PTI government was devising a proper strategy to cope with the inflation.
He said in last five years circular debts grew from 450 billion rupees to 1200 billion rupees but now it would gradually drop. “All the energy and electricity system had paralysed because of the circular debts. Since we took over, we have started slashing the circular debts by 38 billions rupees every month.”
Hammad Azhar said last year current account deficit was reduced by 32 percent, while in first quarter of this year it had been reduced by 65 percent.
“We broke all records of paying foreign debts. Value of rupee has stabilized so now the inflation would diminish,” he said adding that the foreign exchange deficit had started improving in January 2019.
Up to Oct 25, the number of tax return filers had increased by 55 percent in one year, he said.
Counting a number of other achievements, Minister for Economic Affairs Division Muhammad Hammad Azhar said:
- Domestic revenue of the country has increased by 15 percent
- Pakistan has achieved a tremendous success in Karkey case
- Foreign investment in the country rose by 137 percent
- Stock market has witnessed increase of 6500 points after August
- Exports volume has surged: readymade garments by 36 percent in first quarter of the financial year, bedware by 23.84 percent, rice by 52 percent.