Observer Report Lahore
Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif said on Friday that Prime Minister Imran Khan was not working for the people of Pakistan but was instead bowing down to the International Monterey Fund.
Shehbaz’s remarks came a day after the government sought the federal cabinet’s approval to increase electricity tariff by Rs1.68 per unit or nearly 14 per cent, reneging from a four-month-old stance to not further raise the rates in a bid to remain in the IMF programme.
The opposition leader claimed that what he had said in his budget speech proved to be true and the government proved to be false.
“The government does not realise that the people are unable to cope with inflation,” he said. “They [the government] have been misleading the nation for three years.
Tax inflation, rising debts, Imran Niazi is working for IMF, not for the people of Pakistan,” Shehbaz claimed.
He added that such severe inflation was creating serious problems for the economic viability of the country, which was not a good omen for the country.
“It has been proved that the government has deceived the people in the name of budget. If this government continues the economy will collapse,” he said.
The PML-N leader further termed the imposition of 17 per cent sales tax on tax-exempted items, increase in petrol and electricity prices as “terrorism” against the people and the economy.
“Inflation, unemployment and economic catastrophe are already at an all-time high,” he said. “The government has dropped a new bomb and Imran is sacrificing the economy and the nation on IMF’s altar.”
Shehbaz further said that a government that blindly acted on the terms of the IMF did not care about public interest.
“Imran Niazi himself was taking steps that would increase inflation. Then they complain to the nation that the people do not understand the reasons for the rise in it,” he said.
“However, the people are well aware of what is happening to them and who is perpetrating this injustice every day.”
He added that the problem was not understanding the nation but the corruption, lies and historical incompetence of the (current) rulers for which the people of Pakistan were being punished.
Shehbaz Sharif termed the increase in tax and electricity and petrol prices as mini budget. In a statement, the PML-N leader said he had earlier predicted that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government will soon unveil mini budget and here it comes. It has been proved that the government has misguided the nation on budget, he added.
The reaction came after Federal Cabinet approved an increase of up to Rs1.39 per unit in electricity prices. The price hike has been carried out in the wake of quarterly tariff adjustment. The cabinet approved the increase in power cost through circulation summary.