Action against politicians’ benami properties from today, no NRO for the corrupt: PM Imran
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday said that Pakistan’s economy was moving in the right direction and assured the nation that the country will sail through this difficult period once the “tumor” is removed, ARY News reported.
In an hours-long interview to ARY News, the PM maintained that past governments left every major institution of the country in shambles and a debt-laden economy leaving the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government with no option but to raise electricity and gas prices.
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Posted by ARY News on Monday, July 1, 2019
The PM announced that the government is now taking action against ‘benami’ properties of Pakistani politicians and will start seizing them from tomorrow.
Tax reforms to bring prosperity
PM Khan said that the first 10 months of the PTI government was very difficult as the country was suffering from an economic crisis.
He said that Pakistan’s economy going in the right direction, adding that the current accounts deficit increases when exports come down.
“Pakistan would become bankrupt if fails to pay the loans taken by previous regimes. The rupee devaluation increases the price of a dollar, he added.
Speaking over the tax collection system PM Khan said that the tax base will increase when the government will succeed to attain $5.5 billion.
“Pakistan is the country where people usually pay low tax and with this type of approach it becomes difficult to run the country,” he said.
Talking over the system of Federal Board of Revenue, PM Imran Khan said that the reforms in the institution are on cards as it has become necessary.
“Those who have made the country bankrupt are asking us for accountability. Previous rulers of [PML-N, PPP] have ruined the departments like PIA and Railway.”
“Reforms are necessary to bring the economy of the country on track. We’ve done our homework and will bring reforms according to the situation.”
“United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, China and Qatar have come to support Pakistan in difficult times. Pakistan could have become bankrupt if they didn’t help us.”
Talking about the IMF bailout, the premier said that the economy would become more stable with the introduction of the IMF program.
“The country will enter into a new era after the government reached an agreement with IMF on July 3,” said PM.
He said the export industry has witnessed an increase of 30percent, while imports have been decreased to $5,000 billion.
“Russia and Central Asian Republics are looking into opportunities in Pakistan for making investment. The states showed willingness to invest in Gwadar.”
While responding to a question regarding a ban on the word ‘selected’ in the Parliament, the premier responds that his theory is simple, “Mind over matter’, I don’t mind they don’t matter.”
No NRO for the corrupt, only plea bargain
Commenting over the cases against former rulers PM Imran Khan said all cases against Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) were made by themselves.
He said “Hudaibiya Paper Mills case was made by the PPP regime against Nawaz Sharif. Similarly, the Surrey Palace case against Asif Zardari was made by the PML-N government.”
‘All previous rulers were involved in money laundering,” he said, adding that Hussain Nawaz lives in luxury house of London worth RS $43 million.
“Asif Zardari as a president toured 40 times for UAE. Nawaz Sharif had spent Rs64 million on foreign tours. Those who have made the country bankrupt are asking us for accountability. These rulers [PML-N, PPP] have ruined the departments like PIA, Railway and others,” he added.
The premier reiterated, “[Former president] Pervez Musharraf had given NRO to Nawaz Sharif first in shape of exile in Saudi Arabia, where, the second NRO was given to former president Asif Zardari.
He said that the ‘Charter of Corruption’ was also a genre of NRO that had been given to them.
“No NRO will be given to anyone. But yes! An option of plea bargaining is available for everyone. If Nawaz wants to go abroad for his medical treatment then he has to return the looted money first.”
“Go wherever you want to go but first return the looted money of Pakistan,” said PM Khan.
‘Money laundering hurt country’s economy the most’
The prime minister clarified that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has not fixed the rate of US dollar. He added that the money launderers are behind the dollar hike in Pakistan.
The premier said that model Ayyan Ali was involved in smuggling $0.5 million to Dubai, adding that the government was making all-out efforts to bring a legislation for eliminating the menace of money laundering.
“The government is making a program for anti-money laundering with the help of border security forces and other concerned agencies,” he concluded.