- If the economy has improved, then the government should immediately opt out of the IMF's deal: PPP chairman
- Reacting to Bilawal's speech, energy minister Hammad Azhar challenges opposition to stay in the House and listen to the truth
(Karachi) Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has termed the budget session as 'illegal', saying the government is playing the role of the opposition instead of running the government.
Addressing on Friday the National Assembly session about the recently presented budget, Bilawal said that the government has compared Pakistan to the state of Madina, which is not appropriate.
Questioning the PTI’s ability to run the government, he said that seems the ruling party is playing the role of the opposition instead of a party in power.
He maintained that people are well aware of the fact that the government's claim of achieving 4 percent economic growth is not true. Bilawal asked if the country has seen economic growth, as claimed by the PTI-led government, then why does it have to beg before the International Monetary Fund (IMF)?
"If the economy has significantly improved, then the government should immediately opt out of the IMF's deal," he said. "I think both this budget and the budget session are illegal," he remarked.
The PPP chairman stated that the PTI government has failed to give the National Finance Commission (NFC) Award to the provinces, which is meant to distribute financial resources between the federal government and the provinces.
"Every budget will be unconstitutional until the NFC Award is given," said Bilawal.
Regarding inflation, Bilawal said that the PTI government has made the lives of the people miserable and put them in destitute conditions.
"The government has pushed the people below the poverty line and they will never forgive it," he said.
He highlighted that the government has raised the prices of petrol, gas, and electricity in the budget, putting the burden on the common man.
"If the budget raises petrol, gas, and electricity prices, then every Pakistani has to bear the burden of the government's incompetence," said Bilawal.
"The prime minister had promised to grant 10 million jobs to people, but on the contrary, even those who were previously employed have now been rendered jobless," the PPP chairman said.
Acknowledging that there had been inflation during PPP's tenure, he said the difference between our government and PTI's government is that we had not abandoned the people.
"We introduced the revolutionary Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) but this government, on the other hand, harps on about the Ehsaas [programme], when you have no realisation [of the people's predicament]."
Criticizing the government's relief for the construction and real estate sector in the budget, Bilawal said the government had given an “ NRO [amnesty]” to these sectors.
“If this budget offers any relief, it is for the rich,” he added.
Azhar reacts to Bilawal's speech
Giving his reaction over Bilawal's speech, Federal Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar challenged that if the opposition is brave enough to listen to the truth then they should stay in the House till the end.
He criticised Bilawal for switching between English and Urdu during his speech, saying English skills are not enough to remove the stains of corruption from someone's character.
He stated that the PPP chairman delivered an immature speech on the budget and economic policies.
He asked the opposition to go through the budget documents once again and point out what taxes, as they claim, have been levied in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
Azhar said that the rate of inflation was higher during the tenure of the PPP government, adding that it was the PPP that went to the IMF more than any other government in the past.