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LAHORE: Terming Rs3.75 per unit hike in electricity tariff as proof of the IMF slavery, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif said on Tuesday that high power prices would trigger unemployment and inflation in the country thus drowning the economy.

Lashing out at the PTI government for hike in electricity price, he said the anti-people and cruel decisions of the government were hitting the poor people and country’s economy like a bolt from the blue. “The government has cut a joke with the people after imposing petroleum development levy and sales tax,” he said, adding, “The PML-N rejects the government rational and its measures altogether.”

He said the economists were questioning the rationale behind government’s agreement with the IMF believing that the government had put aside country’s national interests for getting loan.

The PML-N President criticized the PTI government for not providing relief to masses after the oil prices cut in the international market. He said he had also warned the government about its ‘hot money’ pursuit which had damaged the economy.

Shehbaz wondered why the people should not call Prime Minister Imran Khan ‘thief’ seeing that our rupee was losing value in his tenure spanning on almost three and half years.

The Pak rupee shed its value by Rs54, in 40 months; the rupee was depreciated by 30.5% when compared with the US dollar. After the Fall of Dhaka when rupee shed its value by 58%, this is the biggest ever depreciation of our currency, he lamented.

He further said the government was going to take the fiscal measures of Rs800 billion after which the economy would come under pressure. He described the reduction of Rs250 billion development expenditures and Rs550 billion new taxes totally unjustified. The nation was in dire need of true representatives, able and honest leadership, he asserted. He claimed that in the Nawaz Sharif tenure, Pakistan was regarded as one of the 20 rising economies of the world, but now it was a crisis-hit country.

The PML-N leader asked the present government that instead of putting country’s security and economy at jeopardy, it should confess to its failure in the best national interest. Imran Niazi should not play with the people’s lives and national security only to boost his ego and incompetence, he said.

Shehbaz deplored that increasing the valuation of immovable properties from 35 to 700 was a blatant mistake that would close down all economic activities in the country. After this step, people would not invest in properties and tax revenues would be decreased, he added. This would also have a negative impact on iron, cement blocks, brick and more than 50 other factories related to the construction industry, he added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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