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Former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has said the government’s own weight is enough to bring it down, “we don’t need to do anything”.
“A lot of doubts regarding the economy have arisen. Electricity and gas tariffs have increased, unemployment has also surged and inflation has risen, which are government’s failures,” said Abbasi along with Marriyum Aurangzeb and Musadik Malik while addressing a joint press conference at the National Press Club on Thursday.
“Farrukh Saleem is government’s spokesperson on economy. He has said ‘alarm bells are ringing’. Whom to believe … the prime minister, finance minister, information minister or the government’s spokesperson?,” they said. “The government is lying and is trying to hide the negative impact on economy.”
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They highlighted that the incumbent government had done nothing positive “but take loans”.
According to the economic indicators of the last two months, the imports had gone down. “The government has accepted its failure within the first four months,” they added.
Abbasi said, “It’s the opposition’s responsibility to present facts before the nation and what we have seen is the government’s failure. Till now they are unable to decide whether to go to the IMF or not … such a situation hasn’t emerged within the last 32 years.”
He said the prime minister doesn’t know “he is the PM” and “Farrukh Saleem has also forgotten that he is the spokesperson”.
“The government’s budget deficit is more than it was in 2017, tax revenue is also less than Rs176 billion, revenue generation has dropped by 10 per cent and the rise in inflation within six months is more than in the past 10 years,” lamented Abbasi. “The things which the spokesperson has said verify our numbers - production capacity of our economy has been reduced to half, we had left growth at 5.2 per cent. The people of Pakistan will have to bear a Rs1,400 billion loss and an additional deficit of Rs400 billion. The government will have to take more loans. Under the current circumstances, the government is likely to opt for another mini-budget.”
He predicted that the finance minister, who had become an expert on mini-budgets, would soon announce it.
“The State Bank has printed new currency which is even higher than last year’s,” said the former PM. “In the last seven months, no business transactions have been made. The government has caused a huge loss if we look at the statistics and numbers.”
He said that he was not crtiticising instead putting the facts before the nation.
He urged the government to be more responsible.
“If the prime minister and information minister keep their mouth shut, the situation will improve,” he said. “There is a band of liars in the government. They should stop lying.”
Firing a broadside at the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Abbasi said, “NAB law is a black law, blind law. I did not receive any notice from NAB. Level allegations, which are true or send notice, I am ready to face them. Blame me in front of the masses and be ready to deliver an apology.”
He said that if he had sent Ishaq Dar out of the country, register a case against him.
“I established Air Blue company, but have nothing to do with it for the last five years,” he said, adding that the government’s own weight was enough to bring it down and they would not be required to do anything.
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