Shehbaz criticises budget as calm returns to NA ‘Fake budgets’ caused 5m job losses

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Ijaz Kakakhel

Islamabad

Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday criticised the government for poor economic situation which has led to heavy price hike, unemployment and termed the budget fake as people’s pockets were empty.

Criticizing the PTI government for its “fake budget”, saying they had resulted in job losses for five million people.

He was finally able to deliver his budget speech after three previous sessions of the House were adjourned due to chaotic behaviour by both treasury as well as opposition members.

He said that in the last three years, many taxes were imposed by the PTI government because of which the “poor man’s meals have been halved.

“Hunger and hopelessness had been created in the country because of previous budgets, he said, adding that Budget 2021-2022 would further increase inflation and the poor would suffer more.

The opposition leader said that 220 million people have elected MNAs of both sides for their representation but what happened in the last few days in NA, sent a very bad image of Pakistan internationally.

He said that when the PML-N left government in 2018, the GDP was at 5.8 percent but when PTI came into power, GDP fell to 2.1 percent in 2019 and economy performed worst in the next year since after 1952.

Government policies have forced the labourers to choose between food and paying school fees of their children or buy clothes.

Salaries of government employees also decreased in real terms and many of them are now even below the poverty line, he added.

Shehbaz said that instead of solving issues such as food inflation, the PTI government had spent the time “taking revenge from the opposition”.

He said nobody was saying that accountability should not happen but “fairness should be the benchmark” for it.

Opposition Leader said that PTI promised 10 million jobs and 5 million houses but in reality instead of providing jobs, government took away employment of over 5 million people, increasing the unemployment rate to record 15 percent in the country.

Shehbaz claimed that posh housing projects had also been included in government housing schemes aimed at poor people. “What is bigger fudging and deception than this?” he questioned.

The Opposition leader slammed the government, saying the budget was “fake”, as the pockets of the poor people were “empty” and they were not able to feed their families.

Responding to Opposition leader, Federal Minister for Planning, Development, Reforms and Special Initiatives Asad Umar wished if Shehbaz Sharif, who is the guarantor of his elder brother, had advised Pakistan Muslim League-N supremo Nawaz Sharif to return to the country. He said that Nawaz Sharif has been the prime minister of the country three times.

Asad Umar said that Prime Minister Imran Khan has built cancer hospital in the country for poor people, adding that the prime minister was offered treatment from the United States and the United Kingdom, when he fell off the stage in 2013 but he refused.

The minister wished that the PML-N leadership had built for their own treatment and a hospital that Nawaz Sharif would have believed in after ruling the federation three times.

“The people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa gave us a two-thirds majority for the seecond time,” Asad Omar said and added those using slogan of “Respect of Vote” should give respect to the vote of the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

He said the PML-N said they would have change the fate of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa if they had been given Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, adding that the PML-N, ANP, JUI and Jamaat-e-Islami have also ruled the province but they failed to deliver.

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