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ISLAMABAD: The lawmakers belonging to the ruling coalition on Thursday held the previous government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) responsible for the current economic crisis, skyrocketing inflation, and increased prices of petroleum products, gas, and electricity in the country.

Taking part in the budget debate on the Finance Bill, 2022-23, the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) MNA, Rasheed Khan said that the flawed economic policies of PTI are the reasons behind the deteriorated economic situation and skyrocketing inflation in the country.

He said due to the PTI, the value of the dollar had gone up from Rs 115 to Rs 190 during its tenure, whereas, the prices of petroleum products, electricity, and daily used items reached unaffordable levels.

Despite all the “favours” – by the powerful military establishment – he claimed that the PTI government during the last three and a half years miserably failed to deliver and devise prudent economic policies to give relief to the common man.

He expressed the optimism that the coalition government would not only steer the country out from the current economic crisis but also provide relief to the people.

He asked the government to conduct an inquiry into the alleged corruption committed by the PTI leadership and friends.

Agha Rafiullah of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) claimed that the coalition government is left with no other option but to take harsh decisions to overcome the economic challenges confronting the country.

He said that all-out efforts are being made to give maximum relief to the common man and avert the negative impacts of the PTI’s bad economic policies.

“The PTI had inked unrealistic and unfavourable agreements with the IMF [International Monetary Fund] by putting behind the interest of Pakistan”, he claimed.

PML-N’s Dr Darshan while criticizing the agreement struck by the PTI government with the IMF said that the policies of the previous government had made the life of the common man miserable.

He said the PTI government had taken record loans and allowed an increase in the prices of all items being used by the masses.

Malik Mukhtar of the PML-N stressed the need for signing the “Charter of Economy” for sustainable economic growth and to put the country in the right direction.

He asked the Finance minister to focus on the industrial sector that was helping in the enhancement of the country’s exports.

Dr Fehmida Mirza of the Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) said that parliamentarians should be given an in-camera briefing about the government talks with the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

She asked the government to take effective steps to combat coronavirus as cases are increasing again.

She said that economic challenges confronting the country should be handled with collective wisdom and all political parties should sit together to devise an economic roadmap.

She said that the Parliament should be strengthened and lawmakers should give their input to bring improvement in the economic situation.

She hoped that reforms in the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) would continue and the tax net to be widened through technological means.

Shahida Akhtar Ali termed the budget “overall good”, but demanded more people-friendly policies to uplift the downtrodden segment of the society.

She said that the import of agricultural products of the country is around $7 billion and there was a need to increase per acre production through the use of modern technologies.

She said that agricultural machinery should be exempted from taxes and research should be made for better production through using quality seeds.

Ahmed Raza Maneka of the PML-N expressed confidence that the incumbent government would soon be able to revive the national economy as it took drastic measures in the federal budget 2022-23 to put the country on a sustainable path of progress and development.

He called for a “Charter of Economy” by taking along all the stakeholders to move the economic wheel at a fast pace.

PML-N MNA Samina Matloob said that the quarters concerned should give attention to the production of quality items by the industrial sector so that the Pakistani goods could get their due share in the international market, which would ultimately increase the country’s foreign exchange reserves.

Naveed Aamir Jeeva of the PPP said that the PTI government did not take due care of the minority community living in Pakistan and made the life of the common man miserable due to its wrong economic policies.

Muhammad Khan Daha of the PML-N termed the budget encouraging which would help in steering the country out of the prevailing economic crisis despite all the challenges inherited from the “incompetent government” of the PTI.

He said the government should give special attention to the promotion of food processing for value addition as it would increase the country’s exports, adding that the agriculture sector had the great potential to overcome confronted economic challenges.

Terming the federal budget “constructive and balanced”, Mahar Irshad Ahmad Khan of the PPP said that the incumbent government presented the best possible fiscal plan in a difficult financial situation inherited from the past regime.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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