Senior Leader of Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) Miftah Ismail here on Tuesday lamented that the country’s economy was badly damaged during the tenure of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) which had piled the public debt to the level of Rs 6400 billion. Addressing a press conference along with other PML-N leaders Musaddiq Malik and Muhammad Zubair, Ismail said that PTI had made people to suffer by taking the economy to this bad condition. He said, the fiscal deficit was hovering at around Rs5600 billion and if supplementary grants of Rs800 billion was included, the total amount would reach to Rs6400. The PML-N leader elaborated how the illogical decisions by the previous government had resulted in increasing overall debt. He, however, expressed the hope that future of Pakistan was brighter under the leadership of Prime Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif. He said all possible efforts would be made to contain the deficit, adding that it was their responsibility to lead country towards better future. Miftah Ismail who is expected to become Advisor to Prime Minister on Finance, also criticized the PTI government over providing relief package of Rs 370 billion under which the former prime minister Imran Khan had announced to reduce the petroleum prices by Rs 10 per liter and electricity by Rs 5 per unit. To a question, he said the government had not decided yet to increase the petroleum prices but the decision would be taken after reviewing the summary issued by Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA). This was a landmine that the PTI government had laid for the upcoming government, he said adding that the amnesty scheme was also needless as it was against the conditions agreed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). When asked whether the current government would take measures to reduce the inflation rate in the country, Miftah Ismail pointed out that the government could not control the inflation immediately due to bad policies of the previous government. “First we will negotiate with the IMF to convince them to ease out the tough conditions so that the government could provide relief to the masses,” he added. He said Pakistan’s imports had also reached record high level due to which the country’s current account deficit was expected to reach near the $20 billion mark by end of current fiscal year. He said in last month alone, the country’s foreign exchange reserves were declined by around US$5 billion. Ismail expressed satisfaction over the announcement of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif for increasing minimum wages to Rs2500, a jump of 20 percent .He said the measure would provide relief to the people caught in the inflationary pressure. He said that by enhancing the pay by 10 percent of those having less than Rs100,000 monthly salary would also help people get relief. He asked the private companies including the media houses to increase the salaries of their employees by 10%. Ismail said that increase of 10 percent in the pensions would help reduce burden on old pensioners and it would have a fiscal impact of Rs 13 billion in next three months of current fiscal year. He said that as soon as the new government took over, the economy has started showing positive vibes as was indicated by Pakistan Stock Exchange which witnessed highest single day increase in trade of shares as index jumped by 1700 points the previous day. Likewise, the index continued with bullish trend and witnessed further increase of over 262 points. He said the rupee also strengthened against dollar, the price of which declined from Rs190 to Rs182 on Tuesday.