KARACHI: Pakistan Muslim League-N has said that the federal government of the Pakistan Tehree-e-Insaf has fudged figures to share ‘plethora of lies’ about its economic performance. Addressing a press conference, former federal minister for finance Miftah Ismail and former Sindh governor Muhammad Zubair said that the top three indicators of any economy were its GDP growth, inflation rate, and budget deficit. They said that the government had failed disastrously at all three of these indicators. They said that Imran Khan has added a debt equal to 50 percent of all debt since Pakistan was formed. They said that Nawaz Sharif, in his three tenures as the prime minister did not add this much debt that Imran had added in just three years. Miftah Ismail said that the government while calculating the GDP growth took Pakistan’s population as 210.10 million whereas the actual population was 220.80 million, according to 2017 census and 2.4 percent population increase. He said by doing this, the PTI excluded over 10.5 million people of Pakistan from its calculation which was a drastic case of figure-fudging. Since February 25th, he said that the prices of 51 most basic items had been increasing by 13 percent every single week and 17 percent in the last week, he said, adding that the sensitive price index increase had pushed millions below the poverty line. By controlling inflation, how the PMLN government had lifted over 20 million people out of poverty, he said. He pointed out that how the Consumer Price Index had also taken major hit because of the government’s ‘disastrous’ policies and ‘mismanagement.’ He said that there was 14 percent food inflation in rural areas and 15 percent in urban areas. The government has inflicted historic budget deficit of over Rs 10 thousand billion in the past three years, he said. He said that their government’s total budget deficit in five years was around eight thousand billion rupees and if the devaluation was added, PTI’s budget deficit would be even more. He said that PMLN’s average deficit was 5.7 while PTI’s is 8.7. He said that the government boasts of reducing the current account deficit but the truth is that reduction resulted in an economic crisis that had led to major poverty and deterioration of the industrial sector. The PMLN leader explained that the government devalued the rupee by over 40 percent and then for the first two years put a ban on virtually all imports, slashed education budget, public health budget, and development budget which obviously tilted the current account. He said that this ban on imports hit the industrialization hard which staggered the country’s industrial production. “All this is like cutting down expenses of a household by starving the family members, taking children out from schools and refusing to give medicine for the ill,” he said. But despite all these disastrous policies, the government failed to even match the export numbers of the PMLN government which were $24.8 billion dollar, he said, adding that the ruling party failed to even touch this amount so far. Miftah said that the PTI was very fond of blaming Covid-19 for bad economic situation but doesn’t give credit for remittances increase to Covid-19. He said that the increase in foreign remittances was because of travel bans due to Covid-19 and that money was being sent to Pakistan, and the government did nothing to make this happen. ONE MONTH ‘MIRACLE’ Muhammad Zubair said the figure fudging by PTI was so blatant that Imran Khan himself was shocked when the economic numbers were shared with him. He reminded how PTI backtracked its initial claim of 3.3 percent growth to 1.9 percent after first fiscal year. Therefore, he said that PMLN didn’t accept this new figure of 3.9 percent GDP growth because just a month ago all government departments were predicting between two to three percent growth and yet they fail to explain what ‘miracle’ happened over one month that it was jacked-up to 3.9. He said that PMLN had over four percent growth in its first year which was the most difficult. According to government’s numbers, inflation was on a high, foreign investment had reduced by 33 percent, domestic development spending had been slashed then what was the engine of growth for this 3.9 percent, he said. “If the economy was doing so good then why did Shaukat Tarin say that PTI had destroyed national economy, just a month ago,” he questioned. “If the economy was doing so good then why inflation, poverty and unemployment are on a high,” he asked. “If the economy is doing so good then why is the national economy’s volume contracting.” He said if the PMLN government lifted millions out of poverty while increasing exports and the GDP growth rate all while creating millions of jobs and development projects.