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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) senior leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Thursday challenged the authenticity of the government’s figures with regard to inflation, saying that there has been 11.5 percent increase in inflation in November this year compared to the same month last year.

Speaking at a news conference along with senior PML-N leaders including former finance minister Miftah Ismail, Abbasi said that although there is no credibility of the government’s statistics, there has been 11.5 percent increase in inflation compared to November last year.

He said that the sensitive price index has registered an 18.1 percent increase, which is the worst increase in the history of Pakistan. “Which means, there is an 18 percent increase in burden over a poor man in terms of the daily necessities,” he said, adding that expenditure of a household of a poor increased by 18 percent in one year. He said that to say that inflation is rising in the world is not acceptable to the people.

He said that the wholesale price index has registered an increase of 27 percent. “Now the situation has reached to the level, if you see the increase during these three years, everything has increased up to 100 percent,” he added.

Abbasi said that the government should admit before the people that it has failed. “When there are “selected” people imposed through stealing of the votes, they have no concerns for the miseries of the people. The way the affairs of the government are being run, it would soon lead the country to [world’s] number one on the inflation rate,” he maintained.

He said that there is no other way but to hold free, fair, and transparent elections with a view to steer the country out of the current situation.

He said that inflation in Pakistan has doubled compared to the neighbouring country, adding that Pakistan ranks third among 200 countries in terms of inflation. “This government has 18 spokespersons and their only purpose is to tell “lies”. Pakistan’s problems cannot be solved through telling “lies”,” he added.

“Today, the chairman NAB is silent, his mouth and ears are closed, but a day would come soon when he has to open his mouth and ears,” he maintained, adding that there has been Rs43 billion corruption in Ehsaas Programme.

To a question about the joint opposition’s boycott of the Parliamentary Committee on National Security’s meeting, he questioned if there was any “bigger” national security than the inflation for any country. He said that the government is borrowing for paying the salaries and the defence expenses.

“Parliament is closed, people are in trouble, media is not able to speak. This is what will happen in a country where system and government is not in accordance with the Constitution. There is no one to talk about people’s problems,” he added.

He said that a mini-budget is about to come, adding that the FBR chairman himself is saying that the mini budget is ready and that he is waiting for the orders of the government.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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