Federal Minister on Finance Shaukat Tarin on Wedenesday hinted at no decline in the price hike for the next three months, a private TV channel reported. Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, Tarin said that the salaried class and urban lower middle class are the most affected by the price hike. He said that the prices have swelled all over the globe due to the coronavirus pandemic but Pakistan didn’t let its industries stop working. “The prices hiked up to 90% in the international market. Trade deficit increased due to the rise in oil prices while the Afghan crisis weighed down Pakistan’s currency,” Tarin said. Tarin said that despite four big crises the country had to face during past three-and-half years, the economy has been heading on right direction as it grew by 5.37 percent during fiscal year 2020-21 and is expected to grow by 5% during the current year. “This (growth) was not expected by anybody but it happened,” the federal minister said while addressing a press conference here adding that all sectors of economy including manufacturing, agriculture and services witnessed growth during the period. He said, that earlier the growth for the last year was expected to hover around expecting 3.94, but since the large scale manufacturing witnessed considerable growth in June 2021, which jacked up overall growth figures for the year. He expressed the hope that growth during the current year is expected at 5 percent as overall revenue collection has witnessed tremendous growth, with electricity utilization increasing by 13 percent exports on rise and bumper crops expected. Enumerating four big crisis the incumbent government had to face during the past three and half years, the minister said, when the incumbent government took over, it had to pay around $29 billion as there were $20 billion current account deficit whereas payments of around $9 billion were also due. He said the Prime Minister went to friendly countries and collected dollars, however the country had to go into IMF programme later, which was the toughest one following which the government had to increase discount rate, make currency devaluation, enhance utility prices to overcome deficit. He said the second crisis was spread of Covid-19 pandemic, which he called was ‘once in a century crisis’ that had affected the country as well as the whole world. He added, the third crisis the government had to face was commodity price cycle which was recorded at 20 years’ high and resultantly countries’ four big imports increased from 85 to 100 percent. He clarified that the imports went up more due to price hike than increase in commodity. He said the fourth crisis was created due to situation in Afghanistan when United States left and frozen reserves of the neighboring country and impacted Pakistan’s currency market. He said when Covid-19 pandemic hit the world, the Prime Minister took tough decision and opted for smart lock-down to ensure businesses run. In addition, he provided incentives for enhancing exports, particularly textile sector, injected money in agriculture to reduce dependence food imports and accorded priority to construction. He said the Covid-19 was handled successfully adding the Economist Normalcy Index kept the country at first three position for three consecutive times, adding that now even advanced countries were following Pakistan’s smart lockdown strategy.