Ijaz Kakakhel Islamabad
The leaders of Pakistan People’s Party and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf on Wednesday indulged in a verbal brawl over the forthcoming mini-budget and government’s agreement with the IMF and the lender’s strict conditions.
The issue surfaced during a meeting of Senate Standing Committee on Finance, which was held under the chairmanship of Talha Mahmood at parliament house.
The PPP and PTI leaders exchanged hot words when Talha Mehmood proposed to levy duty on makeup items prompting a curt response from PPP leader Sherry Rehman who contested the idea.
During the meeting, the committee Chairman suggested to impose duty on the makeup articles. But Ms Rehman disputed the idea asking him to share the details of the government’s agreement with the International Monetary Fund.
She said that tax on luxury items had been levied under a set policy package and ‘the government, people start saying, that the government is imposing tax on lipstick and powder’. She emphasized on people to think seriously over it.
She said her party was not afraid and would criticize the government. The PPP leader was of the view that the mini-budget would spew a mountain of burning lava of inflation.
She wanted the government to divulge the details of all conditions which were reached with the IMF but not fulfilled yet.
Ms Rehman said this whole year, the country was in the grip of uncontrolled inflation and our currency was rapidly shedding its value.
It is not possible to detach the IMF deal from the mini-budget. She was of the view that the rate of inflation in Pakistan was the highest in the region. The PPP leader’s tirade prompted PTI Senator Faisal Salimur Rehman to say that a political speech was being delivered at this forum.
He reminded that it was the PPP which had taken biggest loans from the IMF in its tenure and inflation today was the result of unscrupulous agreements made by the previous governments. .
When Committee Chairman Talha Mehmood suggested to impose tax on the makeup articles, Ms Rehman walked out of the committee room in protest.