ISLAMABAD  - Chairman Pakistan Citizen Forum Malik Amjad Hussain Alvi on Sunday said the Ministry of Finance in a bid to hide failures is presenting manipulated figures which are resulting in international defamation of the country. In a statement issued on Sunday, he said that presenting fudged figures since years have not served anyone’s purpose including the government’s own but it is yet to be realised by the economic managers, he said.

He was of the view that the unrealistic targets and doctored figures have resulted in crisis of credibility for the government and with the international lenders, he said while speaking at a forum organised by the Pakistan Economy Watch. He said that the revenue collection target was fixed at Rs 2,503 billion in the budget which was revised to 2,381 billion but it is still unrealistic as government will be unable to collect over 2000 billion. Similarly, the budget deficit was projected at 4.7 per cent in the last budget which proved to be 7.4 per cent in the end.

Now the authorities have predicted a budget deficit of 4.7 per cent for the current fiscal which may go to 8 per cent as government is unwilling to introduce any meaningful structural change in the existing tyrannical system.

The finance ministry has anticipated a growth rate of 4.3 per cent while IMF says that it will not surpass 3.2 per cent, said Alvi adding that one reason for the situation is reluctance of the FBR to bring elite into the tax net. On the occasion, Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW suggested bringing down tax revenue collections targets which are unrealistic.

He said that economic and security situation and energy shortages have already compromised our capacity to produce which will result in higher budget deficit than what was foreseen. Country’s economic team should not focus on unrealistic targets and doctored figures to get time to work for betterment of the country, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal. The GDP estimates should not be purposely exaggerated to justify unrealistic collection target because it is exposed in the end.

The ministry should realise that the investors have other sources of information than that offered by the government which is main reason behind reducing investment, said Dr. Mughal. He rejected the price statistics offered by the government terming them highly manipulated.