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HYDERABAD: Federal Minister for Commerce and Privatization Syed Naveed Qamar has blamed Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan for putting the country and its people at stake for the sake of his personal political ambitions.

Talking to the media in Tando Muhammad Khan district on Sunday, Qamar said that Khan was in a state of confusion because on one hand he was talking about going back to the National Assembly and on the other hand, he was demanding acceptance of resignations of his party’s MNAs. “Khan is doing the politics of anarchy and instability,” he maintained.

Commenting on the PTI’s demand of holding early elections, he said that the incumbent government led by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) was prepared for the by-elections in the country. However, he added, the by-elections were not possible before April 13.

Responding to a question about consulting Khan over the local government set up, the minister said that the consultation was supposed to be done with the opposition leader. According to him, at the time of the consultation if there was an opposition leader in the NA which represented PTI then he would be consulted.

Commenting on the closure of factories in the country, he said that the government was discussing the issue with the business community. He expressed the hope that the government would not let the closures continue.

The minister acknowledged that the country was dealing with the current account deficit and the industries which depended on the imported raw materials were facing problems in production. “The Letters of Credit (LCs) aren’t opening and the raw material isn’t coming. This is the reason the factories are closing,” he observed.

He said that seeking International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) help was a compulsion for the government. “Even the friendly countries asked Pakistan to go to the IMF first,” he disclosed.

The minister also admitted that the government was aware that the IMF would demand increasing taxes on the electric and gas utilities besides other taxes which would resultantly affect the people.

Responding to a question about the sale of flour at lower rates, the minister said that it was not possible for the provincial government to ensure that all the people in the province received the subsidized flour. The government could not spend all its funds on the provision of flour, he added.

Nevertheless, he told that the Food Department and the district administration had been directed to take action against the black marketers of wheat and flour who were the factors behind the inflating prices.

Qamar also visited an embankment of river Indus in Mulakatiar town. He said a portion of the embankment had suddenly collapsed a few days ago.

He expressed the hope that the reconstruction of that portion would be completed before the next flood season with the help of the federal and provincial governments’ funding. The minister also held meetings with the workers of the Pakistan Peoples Party.


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