Newly appointed Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin on Monday said that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) committed ‘grave injustice’ against Pakistan in terms of the extended fund facility offered to the country, a private TV channel reported. “IMF did injustice to Pakistan … the demand to increase the electricity tariff is unjustified,” he said during a meeting of the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Finance, Revenue, and Economic Affairs. The meeting was chaired by the committee chairman, Faiz Ullah Kamoka. The minister said due to the move, the economy has stopped moving forward, while corruption is on the rise. “If the current government is not able to take the GDP growth to 5%, then the country will be at ‘God’s mercy’ for the next four years,” he said, and assured the lawmakers that he is trying to explain the situation to the IMF. “The increase in tariff is leading to a rise in inflation. We have told the IMF that we will reduce the circular debt but increasing the tariff is unexplainable,” he said. The minister also told the lawmakers that even though the revenue has risen in the last two months, the government still has to make tough decisions to revive the economy. “Instead of introducing taxes, there is a need to increase the tax next. Our country lacks short-term, medium-term and long-term policies,” he deplored, and cited the example of China, Turkey, and India where consistent economic policies are in place. The minister said there is a need to improve policies in agriculture, industries, housing sector, and price control. He said mortgage in country is at 0.25%, adding that if the housing sector is revived, then 20 other industries will start working. “The government should privatise all institutions that it is unable to run,” he said, adding that very little amount is spent on education and health in the country. Following the meeting, the minister, while speaking to media, said that at this point, the government should see what relief can be obtained from the IMF as inflation is rising and urgent measures are needed to control it. Separately, chairing the meeting of the National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC), Tarin urged all the provincial governments to ensure daily release of wheat on subsidized rates in compliance with the directives of the prime minister to keep the prices of wheat flour bags in check. He directed the respective provincial administrations and relevant departments for strict monitoring of prices of basic commodities and ensure availability of sufficient stocks of basic commodities to provide relief to consumers on the special occasion of Eid. Keeping in view the arrival of Eid, the finance minister stressed coordinated and consolidated efforts by all concerned to check undue profiteering and price hike to facilitate masses during the last week of Ramadan. Earlier, the NPMC reviewed the price trend of essential commodities especially wheat flour, sugar, edible ghee, chicken and vegetables during the last week. While briefing the NPMC about weekly SPI, the finance secretary apprised that prices of 09 basic commodities registered a decline whereas 30 items remained stable during the week under review.