PML-N President and National Assembly Opposition Leader Shehbaz Sharif addressing a presser in Lahore has said that claims of the PTI government being honest and transparent is the biggest lie in history.
Shehbaz said the economic blunders committed by PTI government over the past three years had shaken the foundations of Pakistan. Inflation, unemployment were threatening the existence of Pakistan.
He said that when the PMLN government left in 2018 the total loans were Rs 3,000 billion while inflation was 3-4%. Right now, he said, the conditions by the IMF had choked the nation. He said he wasn’t lecturing anyone and admitted that all governments were guilty in the economic deterioration of the country over the past 74 years.
However, he said if the PTI government is compared with Nawaz Sharif’s government, there was a stark difference which left the country with a 5.8 GDP while the PTI after 3 years had managed 3.5 %.
He said Imran had pledged that he would reduce the national debt by Rs 10,000 billion. In 3 years PTI had doubled the national debt. He noted that in 2018 the debt was Rs 30,000 billion but PTI added Rs 20,000 billion. He said the record bears witness that during its tenure, PMLN not only reduced total debt but also invested in the nation. He reminded that PMLN installed over 10,000 megawatts. He said PMLN’s performance in the health, education and transport sector was also a milestone to date. Had the PMLN government not set up these mass transport projects with zero emissions, imagine what would have been the condition of the traffic and air pollution.
Shehbaz said State Bank’s figures reject PTI’s claims that they had paid off debt. We are suffering due to the economic chaos of this PTI government. He said it was sad that even Bangladesh with a population of 170 million had $ 320 billion GDP while Pakistan with 220 million people had $ 270 billion.
Shehbaz questioned where was that Loan Commission that was formed at the stroke of midnight, security agencies like the ISI, FIA and IB were included in that commission but its reports are still pending because they couldn’t find any wrongdoing by PMLN.
Talking about trade deficit, he said dollar was at Rs 122 in June 2018 was now at Rs 179, which meant that the rupee was devalued by Rs 55. The trade deficit was now at $ 23 billion and might reach $ 50 billion by next year.
Shehbaz said the expenditures of Aiwan-e-Sadr and the PM House were increasing while they had decided to cut the development expenditure by Rs 200 billion on IMF’s directions.
Criticizing the PTI government’s agriculture policies, he said Pakistan used to export wheat and sugar but was now importing them worth billions. He said that despite efficient gas powered projects, the government imported billions’ worth of furnace oil and produced expensive electricity to benefit a few. On top of that, he said, the country was now faced with a gas shortage which would affect the industry and exports as well, in addition to the masses.
Shehbaz said this government was now going to increase fuel prices every month and would re-impose Sales Tax which would burden the people. PTI’s made Pakistan a slave of the IMF. If the current situation continues, Pakistan would need to borrow more to run basic operations, including defense, he said.
Shehbaz rejected notions of disunity in the opposition and praised the unity of the joint opposition over national issues. He said that they would continue to fight the case of Pakistan everywhere. Responding to a question he said the December 6 meeting of the joint opposition would decide the details regarding the long march.