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ISLAMABAD - The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf on Tuesday asked the caretaker government to go beyond its mandate and finalize a new economic policy for the implementation of the next elected government as the country’s economy was ‘on the brink of collapse’.

While responding to the press conference of Caretaker Finance Minister Dr Shamshad Akhtar, PTI leader Asad Umar also requested the caretaker minister to place facts before the nation about what he said the ailing economy of the country.

Umar said that the interim finance minister had now clearly said that the caretaker government would not undergo formal negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as it was not its mandate. “But it has become indispensable for the caretaker government to do some necessary homework as we cannot wait for six weeks for elections,” he said.

“If the situation of the economy is not in a dangerous position, then the caretakers should come, conduct elections and go. But now the economy is on the brink of collapse, now we cannot wait, so the caretaker government should devise a policy so that whoever wins the 25 July elections could implement it,” he demanded.

Umar said that Dr Akhtar tried to do some balanced analysis at the press conference. “But, I have some questions to ask from her because she had missed a number of answers.  She should have informed why the core inflation doubled,” he said adding that “it was true that this was because of increase in oil prices and due to the devaluation but the nation should be informed about monetization of a deficit”.

He said that the way the country’s reserves were falling, the economy could not sustain without taking a big decision. “Whether the boat of the economy could sustain only for some months,” he said and added that the answer was no. He also said that “this was not the criticism but a truth”.

About hours long load-shedding in the country, he said that former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had decided to contest elections from a constituency of Islamabad, and the people of the capital would ask him at least two questions. “One is that you had announced that load-shedding ended, but you should have answered when it started again in your government, you only said that successors would answer.”

He said that the Power Division secretary has given facts about power shortfall and said that it was 4,500 megawatts in the first week of June, while a year ago, it was 4,500MW and if you go back five years, it was also 4,500 to 5000MW shortfall.

“So after launching all projects, there is no decrease in the power shortfall,” he said. Similarly, “I ask from the former PM what the last PML-N government did to overcome the water shortage in Islamabad. What projects you launched at least small projects to overcome the water shortage. The people of Islamabad will ask from you what you did for Islamabad’s water needs during last one-year,” he said.

Umar said that the PML-N was wrong that they had ended load-shedding.

Answering a question, he said that he was not saying that it was the mandate of the interim government to devise permanent economic policies but the situation they were facing demanded some necessary homework. “The PML-N government had been denying the situation as the whole world was saying that they were heading towards a bailout package but they were not ready to accept the truth so they left without any preparation,” he said and added that he had been repeatedly saying that the PML-N was heading towards the bailout package.