A staggering sum to the tune of Rs90 billion was handed out to a Karachi-headquartered business conglomerate under the Temporary Economic Refinance Facility (TERF) during the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI’s) stint in office, maverick reporter Shahbaz Rana has revealed.
Rana made the comments in conversation with Rauf Klasra. Finance Minister Miftah Ismail had earlier claimed that one individual had received the sum courtesy the scheme at an address at the Institute of Business Administration (IBA) in Karachi. The State Bank of Pakistan facility, introduced by the then PTI-led government, encouraged industrialists to establish new business units by securing long-term financing at a negligible interest rate.
Rana, who covers the economy for a private media conglomerate, questioned if anyone but the then prime minister, SBP governor and finance minister were responsible for this. The business group, he said on the other hand, could not be expected to shoulder blame since it had merely utilised a facility. The onus lay elsewhere, Rana said.
The reporter also shed light on how then prime minister Imran’s multi-billion-announced Covid relief package remained mar by poor disbursement standards. “Of the Rs1,126 billion earmarked, only 300 to 350 billion actually reached those impacted. The actual package was worth Rs550 billion,” Rana said. The difference, he said, had actually gone towards procuring Covid vaccines.