–Parliamentary party meeting slams PTI for ‘incompetence’ in containing coronavirus outbreak
LAHORE: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has criticised the financial stimulus package announced by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government, terming it “grossly insufficient and vague” for lack of implementation mechanism.
In a statement issued after the meeting of PML-N lawmakers and senior leadership under the chairmanship of party chief Shehbaz Sharif, the major opposition party demanded the “inclusion of the clearly defined strategy and implementation mechanism presented by National Assembly Opposition Leader Shehbaz Sharif”.
The moot discussed the measures taken by the government in the wake of the corona pandemic. According to the statement, “The meeting concluded that the government…made a mess of a single quarantine center at Taftaan…[and] single-handedly jeopardized the lives of the entire nation.”
The PML-N said it feared that due to “sheer incompetence of this government there was high likelihood that these quarantine facilities can become festering grounds for the virus”.
The meeting also doubted the “sincerity of the government regarding utility stores considering PTI’s track record over the sugar and wheat crisis”.
The PML-N urged the government to bring down the petrol price to Rs70/litre due to the decrease in international prices.
It also pointed out “ambiguity left by the government regarding the Rs 200 billion set for laborers and pointed out that it has not been clarified that this what proportion of this amount will be given by the federal government and what amount by the provinces”.
“Neither has PTI mentioned a date nor has the government defined a mechanism for the distribution of this amount while PMLN’s plan clearly laid out a system,” it said.
The PML-N alleged that Rs 100 billion to the industrial sector was the money the government owed to the industrial sector. The statement said: “The meeting also criticised the Rs 50 billion for medical workers as a blatant lie as there have been no details and mechanism… and demanded an immediate doubling of the salary of all medical staff and doctors instead.”
The meeting demanded that all taxes over import of food in any form from abroad must be lifted with immediate effect, according to the statment.
The PML-N questioned the existence of emergency fund and said if the government had Rs100bn in the fund, it should import ventilators then.
It also slammed the allocation of Rs 25bn to the NDMA, saying the allocation should have been done in January.
The meeting stressed that despite extensive cooperation and proactive contribution by the opposition to the government amid pandemic crisis, the conduct of the Prime Minister at the consultative parliamentary meeting is unacceptable.
The meeting also passed a second resolution extending condolences with the families of those who have been killed by the pandemic and also called for a national civil award for Dr Usama who laid his life while fighting with the disease while serving his country.