ISLAMABAD: Opposition lawmakers in the Senate on Friday railed against the recent massive increase in the prices of petroleum products and electricity, while the Treasury held the former Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) in power responsible for the current economic mess and urged him to suggest a way forward instead of scoring political points.
The issue was raised by the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, Dr. Shahzad Waseem, who requested a detailed discussion of it in the House on a motion to adjourn, which the Speaker allowed after Question Time. . PTI senators also staged a walkout in protest against a further increase in gasoline and diesel prices and a hike in electricity tariffs.
During the proceedings, PTI members, some carrying placards, gathered near the president’s podium and chanted anti-government slogans. They accused the rulers of capitulating to the credit bureau and making the lives of the masses miserable.
PML-Q Senator Kamil Ali Agha, while speaking on the adjournment motion, protested against the POL price hike, calling it unprecedented. He commended the previous PTI government for allocating Rs 466 billion for the subsidy it announced on petroleum products.
Former finance minister Shaukat Tarin claimed the economy was in freefall due to government indecision and caving in to IMF demands as the PTI government faced the lending agency for six months and had not raised the electricity tariff or levied taxes worth 700 billion rupees. .
Earlier, House Leader and Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar urged the opposition PTI to avoid scoring on price hikes and suggest a way forward as an economy in Ruin was not the business of a single political party. He said the country badly needs unity. The PTI government had left the country on the brink of default in addition to ruining the economy. He blamed the PTI for high inflation and urged the party to show political maturity by avoiding chaos.
Minister of State for Finance, Dr Aisha Ghaus-Pasha, called on PTI members not to mislead the public and urged them not to gamble with the economy and instead help the government as it it was a national problem. “There should be no politics on the economy,” she stressed, as some PTI senators continued to hit their desks with documents.
She reminded Mr. Tarin that only a day ago he had suggested that the government go to the IMF without delay, otherwise the government could not move the economy and the country forward, but today, it took a 180 degree turn. “What happened in the 24 hours that made you take this turn?” she asked.
Senator JI Mushtaq Ahmad criticized the government for committing “economic terrorism” against the masses through massive increases in oil prices. He questioned the leaders’ overseas visits with large entourages as they claimed the domestic kitty was empty.
Posted in Dawn, June 4, 2022