ISLAMABAD – PML-N chairman and opposition leader in the National Assembly, Shehbaz Sharif, while strongly criticizing the almost Rs 4 per unit increase in the PTI government’s electricity tariffs, said that the cruel measures of this government were crushing the poor and the economy.
In a statement, Shehbaz said electricity tariffs, inflation, unemployment and economic disaster would rise further under this dire regime. He said that this increase in electricity, fuel, gas and taxes was the slavery of the IMF. The PMLN rejects the thinking and the measures of this government, he added. He pointed out that relief for falling global oil prices was not passed on to the people, but the poor were mocked by the imposition of an oil development tax and a tax. on sales.
âWhy shouldn’t the nation call the Prime Minister a thief when fuel prices have skyrocketed; when inflation is out of control; when unemployment destroys families; whereas during the last three years and four months of the PTI government, the rupee has depreciated by more than 30.5% against the dollar.
It is the highest devaluation of the rupee after 58% of the value at the time of the fall of Dhaka. Is this the new Pakistan? Shehbaz asked.
He said the nation needs a capable, honest and competent leader elected by the people. National security, economic sovereignty and the recognition of failure are in the national interest instead of trapping the people, he said.
PMLN President said: âImran Niazi was playing with national security and people’s lives, the country and its people should not have to pay the price for its ego, stubbornness, incompetence and corruption. It is unfortunate that Pakistan is today seen as a country in crisis in the world. The country which was one of the twenty emerging economies in the world under Nawaz Sharif is now on the list of countries affected by the crisis â.
He also said that the value of real estate has increased from 35% to 700%. The move would further reduce business activity in the country and further slow the economy, he said. How will people buy property after this measure, he asked and added that it would actually reduce tax collections. He went on to say that more than 50 industries related to steel, cement block, bricks and the construction sector will be affected. He said industry stakeholders should have been consulted before taking such an initiative.
Shehbaz also warned the government against the “hot money” initiative, which had already hurt the economy. After the exit from the IMF program in 2017, the interest rate was 5.7% and the GDP was 5.8%. Along with this growth rate under Nawaz Sharif, the inflation rate also dropped significantly and maintained a single digit inflation rate. He said that Nawaz Sharif’s tenure was the only period in history when the growth rate exceeded 5.8 percent despite the IMF program. As a result of this economic performance of the Nawaz Sharif government, investor confidence had increased and the value of the rupee had stabilized. After the current government’s IMF program, the interest rate rose to 9% and inflation went to double digits, he said.
The leader of the opposition said the government would take around Rs 800 billion in new financial measures which would put a lot of pressure on the population and the economy. The 250 billion rupee reduction in development spending and the new 550 billion rupee taxes represented absolute oppression of the Pakistani people. These measures were tantamount to burning the Pakistani economy to ashes, especially at a time when inflation had already suffocated the population.
Shehbaz said the position of Pakistan’s external account was already fragile and these measures would create more problems. Economists wondered why the current government failed to properly negotiate a deal with the IMF in the national interest, he said. Shehbaz confirmed that the IMF did not even allow the PTI government to borrow 2% of GDP in a single fiscal year. The only way out of this mess was a higher and stable GDP growth rate, he said.