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PEW questions government employment claim

Dr Ghulam Murtaza MughalLahore: The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Friday questioned claims of the government regarding reduction in unemployment, improvement in per capita income and improved energy situation.

How come the unemployment was reduced from 6 percent to 5.8 percent and per capita income increased from 1384 dollars to 1513 dollars when the economic survey says that all the important targets have been missed, it said.

Government could not initiate any notable energy project is the outgoing fiscal therefore claim of improved electricity supply is questionable, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.

In a statement issued here today, he said that the government has claimed to increase growth rate by one percent every year which could not be fulfilled and will not be fulfilled in the next fiscal due to its inability to introduce meaningful reforms.

Government borrowed almost one trillion rupees in ten months while the private sector got loans worth Rs 162 billion which was 209 billion less than last year which resulted in dismal growth of 4.2 percent growth and dwindling exports.

Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that FBR continued to abide by the policy of holding refunds but it didn’t helped as the current shortfall has been recorded at Rs 395 billion rupees.

Host of reasons including FBR’s inertia added to the cost of doing business while plan to increase salaries and pensions of government servants by 7 to 10 percent reflects insensitivity of authorities towards common man.

He said that reducing subsidy by Rs 130 billion and new taxes of 270 billion will not help unless elite are taxed according to their capacity.

Contesting the claim of controlling circular debt in limit of Rs 250 billion, he said that independent experts have termed it at Rs 600 billion.

The growth target of 5.5 for the next fiscal will remain highly optimistic unless reforms are initiates, said Dr. Mughal.

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