- Disbursement of Rs2,000 per family in addition to Benazir Income Support Programme to be given to low-income groups, will be accommodated in upcoming budget
- Charter of Economy to be discussed with all stakeholders, says prime minister
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif announced a Rs28-billion relief package for low-income households, saying that a cash disbursement of Rs2,000 per family will be made, while a 'Charter of Economy' will be discussed with political parties.
In a short address to the nation on Friday, his first since assuming office after the ouster of Imran Khan through a vote of no-confidence last month, the prime minister said 14 million families will benefit from this measure, which would be made in addition to disbursement under the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP).
“The nation wanted to get rid of the incompetent and corrupt previous government," said the prime minister as he began his address.
I also want to announce that we will map out a Charter of Economy. I call on all political parties for consultation on this charter so that no elected government can harm the country’s economy for political gains and ensure economic continuity and stability
"Therefore, all opposition parties paid heed to their call and made this change possible within the ambit of the Constitution.
"I have never witnessed such disaster in my entire political career spanning over three decades what the previous government unleashed upon this nation during its tenure.
"This was the sole reason we took up the challenge to take over the government under extremely difficult circumstances."
In an apparent reference to Imran Khan, the prime minister added that "this person is damaging the national cause for this own political agenda.
"The country will be run as per the law and not according to his wishes."
PM Shehbaz said that the previous government entered the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme, and agreed to the conditions set forth by the lender. "We didn't agree to those terms. It was your (PTI) government.
"If we are facing an economic crisis today, it is solely because of your bad decisions."
The prime minister said that the government has increased prices of petroleum products, but will look after the low-income households.
"I am announcing a Rs28-billion relief package. We will give a disbursement of Rs2,000 per family, which would be in addition to the Benazir Income Support Programme. We will accommodate this in the upcoming budget.
"I also want to announce that we will map out a Charter of Economy. I call on all political parties for consultation on this charter so that no elected government can harm the country’s economy for political gains and ensure economic continuity and stability."
His address, which began after a lengthy delay of almost three hours, came after the government rather abruptly hiked the prices of all petroleum products by Rs30 per litre after the IMF emphasised the termination of energy subsidies to revive its bailout programme for Pakistan.
In a press conference on Thursday, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail explained that the decision was taken in order to ensure revival of the IMF programme.