ISLAMABAD: Leader of the Opposition in National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif, while expressing deep concerns over the state of the country’s economy, offered a “charter of economy” to the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) for economic revival.
In a statement to media, he said that “the prevailing regional circumstances are making it even more obvious that it is high time Pakistan makes economic progress its top priority.”
Expressing his views over the budget, he said that the government has not been able to lay out a clear economic policy. He urged the government to understand the gravity of the situation and take serious steps to resolve it.
He stressed that a stronger economy leads to the better defence of the nation, expressing alarm over the inflation rate approaching double digits. He said that the “PTI government has topped its own terrible monetary performance by an even worse one.”
The PML-N president pointed out that over the past 6 months, inflation has jumped from 6.7pc to 8.2pc which translates into devaluation of money and impacts the working class in the worst possible way. “This rate of inflation has surpassed the worst feared projection of the State Bank of Pakistan as well,” he added.
He claimed that his party’s government had brought down the rate of inflation to its lowest in the past four decades at 3.9pc.
Shehbaz said that the PTI inherited a growth rate of 5.8pc “which they have degenerated to 3.8pc with their disastrous rule which is severely worrisome.”
Mentioning the State Bank’s report, he said that in the past six months the national stock market has lost over 89 million dollars.
The PML-N president criticised the government for increasing the rates of electricity and gas, adding that “it appears that the government is not even interested in providing any relief to the people of Pakistan because if were, it would have accepted [ex-PM] Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s offer of providing a solution for affordable natural gas for domestic users.”
He said that the government is borrowing billions of dollars while plunging further down in the economic indicators, which is a mindboggling phenomenon. “Where exactly is all the money going?” he questioned.
Shehbaz said that the government should rise above petty politics and claiming credits and should work collectively with the parliament to dig the country out of this hole.