Saturday, May 18, 2024

‘Govt’s claim of 4% growth based on lies’: Bilawal

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Chairman PPP Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari 

Chairman PPP Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said Friday that the government’s claim of a 4 per cent growth in the budget is “based on lies” and that the masses are aware of that.

 Speaking during a session of the National Assembly, which was being conducted under the chairmanship of National Assembly’s Speaker Asad Qaiser, Bilawal said that  both the budget and the budget session of the PTI-led government were “illegal.”

He said that the PTI government has been unable to give the National Finance Commission (NFC) award, which is meant to distribute financial resources between the federal government and the provinces.

“Every budget will be unconstitutional until the NFC award is given,” said Bilawal.

 Bilawal said that the PTI government has “left the poor people in a deplorable condition” by introducing an unrealistic budget, adding that it was an “attack” on the people.

He said that people will never forgive the government for further pushing them below the poverty line.

“If the budget raises petrol, gas, and electricity prices, then every Pakistani has to bear the burden of the government’s incompetence,” said Bilawal, adding that had there been economic growth, so many people would not be unemployed.

“The prime minister had promised to grant 10 million jobs to people, but on the contrary, even those who were previously employed have now been rendered jobless,” the PPP chairman said.

Bilawal said that if the country has seen economic growth, as claimed by the PTI-led government, then why does it have to “beg before the International Monetary Fund (IMF)?”

“If the economy has significantly improved, then the government should immediately opt out of the IMF’s deal,” he said.

Taking a jibe at the government once again, Bilawal said that as per the economic survey, if nothing else, the population of donkeys has increased in the country, for which Prime Minister Imran Khan’s policies must be lauded.

Bilawal further said that the PTI government did not even spare Azad Jammu and Kashmir and burdened the people there with the imposition of taxes.

He said that only Rs12 billion had been earmarked for the agricultural sector, which is the backbone of the economy.

“The government has abandoned the farmer community. They have not even been provided with fertiliser subsidy,” said Bilawal.

Government’s response

Reacting to Bilawal’s comments, Federal Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar delivered his speech during the National Assembly session and challenged the Opposition, saying: “If they are brave enough to listen to the truth, then they should stay in the House till the end.”

Mocking the way Bilawal kept switching between English and Urdu during his speech, Hammad Azhar implied that oratory skills are not enough to remove the stains of corruption from someone’s character.

“Those who have never done anything to improve the country’s economy and have no knowledge thereof delivered an immature speech on the government’s budget and economic policies,” he said.

He asked the Opposition to go through the budget documents once again and point out what taxes, as they claim, have been levied in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

Azhar said that the rate of inflation was higher during the tenure of the PPP government, adding that it was the PPP that went to the IMF more than any other government in the past.

“It looks like the Opposition is having a hard time digesting that the country has achieved a 4% growth under the rule of the PTI,” said Azhar, adding that the PPP could not even achieve 1% growth during its five-year tenure.

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