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ISLAMABAD: The joint opposition Wednesday vowed to block the government’s mini-budget, saying neither will it allow its passage nor the bill pertaining to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) autonomy will be allowed to sail through the parliament as it is tantamount to surrendering the central bank’s sovereignty.

The meeting of the joint opposition, which held at the chamber of opposition leader in the National Assembly, deliberated upon the strategy to prevent the mini-budget and other International Monetary Fund-dictated (IMF) legislations from the house.

The meeting was attended by former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) parliamentary leader in the National Assembly Khawaja Asif, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) MNA Naveed Qamar, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazal (JUI-F) parliamentary leader Maulana Asad Mahmood, and other senior leaders of the joint opposition.

After mutual consultation and consensus, the leaders devised a strategy to block the mini-budget and the State Bank-related bills from the parliament, and ensuring the attendance of all opposition lawmakers on the day the legislation would be tabled.

They held the view that this mini-budget was another mega U-turn of Prime Minister Imran Khan, which would lead to grave damage to the nation’s economy, interest, and security.

If mini-budget approved, 2022 will be the worst year of inflation: Shehbaz Sharif

They said Prime Minister Khan had sold off the economic sovereignty of the country and had planned to annihilate the people of Pakistan already crushed under skyrocketing inflation, record unemployment and the tsunami of Imran-led government’s incompetence and corruption.

Due to the worst ever inflation and unemployment in the country, they added, people were dying for a single bite of food and were at the verge of death by starvation.

They pointed out that the PM Khan government buried the country under unprecedented loans due to which growth rate had plunged to disastrous level.

They continued that trade and budget deficits were at historic highs, dollar had crossed Rs181, foreign exchange reserves were depleting fast, electricity and gas tariffs were shooting through the roof and the prices of essential commodities were out of the purchasing power of the common man.

With this situation at hand, they added, another mini-budget bomb would prove to be the last nail in the coffin of the country’s economy and its people.

The leaders said that the upcoming mini-budget was nothing less than “economic terrorism” on the nation which would need to be stopped at all cost.

The joint opposition leaders vowed to use all its power and resources to ensure that these legislations would not get approved.

They also hoped that the government’s allies would also take a decision against “the anti-people” steps taken by the prime minister and will cast their votes in best national interest.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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