Former finance minister and PML-N senior leader Miftah Ismail Wednesday said the government was not raising the salaries of government employees, as these had been raised a couple of months ago. In his maiden address as prime minister in the National Assembly, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had announced an increase in salaries, pensions and the minimum wage for laborers. He said the PTI-led government had left the country’s economy bleeding with the current account deficit and other economic indicators ‘worsening’. He announced raising the minimum wage to Rs25,000 and a 10% hike in pensions of retired government employees. Government employees earning less than Rs100,000 would also be given a 10% raise, he added. “Since the fed[eral] govt employees’ salaries were raised a couple of months ago, we are not raising them again,” Miftah wrote on his official Twitter handle, stating that it was not a “U-turn”. Miftah, however, said the salary issues will be considered in the next budget. “Meanwhile, we raised pensions of retired govt employees. I hope this clarifies any confusion,” he added. On Tuesday, Miftah Ismail said the country’s economy was badly “damaged” during the tenure of the PTI-led government which, he said, piled the public debt to the level of Rs6,400 billion. Addressing a press conference along with other PML-N leaders Musadik Malik and Muhammad Zubair in Islamabad, Ismail accused the previous PTI government of making the lives of the masses miserable through “flawed” economic policies. He said the fiscal deficit was hovering at around Rs 5,600 billion and if supplementary grants of Rs800 billion were included, the total amount would reach Rs6,400.