LAHROE - The business community as well as financial experts, while reviewing the five years performance of the PPP-led coalition government, has observed that it was the worst era in view of economy, as foreign debt was escalated by over 100 per cent in last five years.

They stated that the ruling Pakistan People’s Party during its five-year constitutional tenure, due to complete on 16th March, fulfilled no promise it had made with the masses in its election manifesto titled ‘Towards Peace and Prosperity in Pakistan’ in 2008.

Economy experts are of the view that the rulers from the PPP had failed to respect the commitments the party had made to the masses. They said that Pakistan was caught in debt trap and ratio of total loans reached 72 per cent of the GDP, which is highly alarming. They said that rupee was depreciated by almost 65 per cent against green back during this tenure. Foreign Direct Investment plunged to the lowest level during this era owing to energy crisis and alarming level of insecurity.

Executive committee meeting of the traders apex body, while reviewing the government performance, said that power tariff was raised in the range of 40 to 95 per cent in this period while circular debt was escalated to Rs872 billion from five-year past time of Rs326 billion.

The unannounced and scheduled power laodshedding and gas suspension halted the industrial production as well as agriculture growth leading to skewed economic growth between 1.7 per cent to 3.5 per cent while taxpayers subsidy of Rs1500 billion could not rescued the power sector. POL product prices were gone up 70-160 per cent during past five years despite the fact the same was up just by 3.29 per cent in global market. The gas theft was on the peak while its rate was enhanced by up to 60 per cent. In the same way kitchen items rate was increased by up to 200 per cent while salaries were not enhanced with same ratio. APAT general secretary Naeem Mir said that inflation hovered around the 15% mark in last 5 years and the Consumer Price Index increased from about 100 points to about 173 points. Record tax collection was shown in the figures but austerity measures were not implemented leading to fiscal deficit of Rs1600. there was virtually no writ of the government as terrorism, violence, target killing of traders and extortion hit the country hard during this black era of the PPP rule.

Quoting NAB DG statement, they said that oil mafia, agriculture cartel and tax evasion/theft contribute to a daily loss of Rs5 billion, which meant Rs150 billion in one month and Rs1,800 billion a year.

According to Transparency International, Pakistan had lost more than Rs8.5 trillion in corruption, tax evasion and bad governance during first four years tenure of Gilani’s regime.