'Coalition govt representing all segments can break status quo'.

LAHORE -- Former Finance Minister Miftah Ismail says that a powerful democratic coalition government representing all segments of the society can break the status quo and lead the country into a right direction.

Saying that the country has been damaged due to intervention of the military establishment in the political affairs, especially in the recent years, he terms continuous change of finance ministers in last four years and use of money for subsidies and other political gains as main reasons behind distrust of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

'If we want to break this status quo and lead the country into the right direction, the only solution is to have a powerful democratic coalition government represented by all segments, including farmers, traders, students, growers, politicians etc. It is possible as we see in our neighbouring country-India- where such coalition government is working well, though it is anti-Muslim,' he explained.

'I think Pakistan is not functioning well due to the lack of structural reforms in various sectors, including tax collection from all. All this mess has led to placing our country among the worst governed countries,' he said while speaking at a session, titled 'Pakistan's political economy: Is there a way forward' at ThinkFest here on Sunday.

Miftah says political parties run like monarchies

While expressing grave concerns over the continuous political instability and the role of politicians and other stakeholders, the former minister claimed to have slightly improved the economy after inheriting it in a very bad condition from the PTI government.

He said though the Covid-19 had created some ease to the then government in implementing the IMF programme, the situation again went out of control when Shaukat Tarin took over the charge as the finance minister and made a lot of spending for political gains on behalf of the then prime minister Imran Khan.

'First Asad Umar, being finance minister, delayed opting for the IMF programme. But when he decided to go, he was fired. Later, (Abdul) Hafeez Shaikh came and matured the IMF loan deal and carried out various reviews.'

Miftah said when the IMF resumed imposition of conditions in the post-Covid situation and Mr Shaikh started implementing the same, the PTI government replaced him with Tarin.

Mr Tarin, according to him, contrary to the IMF conditions, spent billions of rupees on the subsidies in power and energy sectors, widening the budget deficit to a...

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