KARACHI: PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Tuesday announced that his party would launch a movement from next month against the government’s economic policies amid the unprecedented rise in inflation, poverty and unemployment and the downward slide in growth rate.
He blamed the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) $6 billion bailout package for the dilemma faced by the people and demanded that the government should revisit the terms of the loan with the international donor.
“[Prime Minister] Imran Khan had promised to provide 10 million jobs and build five million houses but instead of fulfilling his pledges his government is snatching basic necessities from the people,” the scion of Bhutto dynasty said while addressing the inauguration ceremony of an urban forest project along Karachi’s Lyari River.
The PPP chairman noted that his party had warned against the government’s policies when the budget was announced.
“This wasn’t PTI’s budget. It was the PTI-IMF budget,” he maintained, adding that the IMF package was against the interests of the country.
“Ever since this budget has been imposed on us, inflation, poverty and unemployment have increased in the country. The government did not keep the interests of the people in mind when it negotiated with the IMF.”
Bilawal claimed that the people of Pakistan were now suffering because of the government’s incompetence.
He demanded that the government should renegotiate the loan with the international donor and clinch a “pro-Pakistan” package.
The PPP leader’s statement came as second review talks between Pakistan and the IMF for the third tranche of the bailout package -- $450 million -- began on Monday.
Pakistan has requested the IMF to further reduce tax collection target due to the prevailing political instability coupled with tight economic conditions that have adversely affected almost every household.
The government informed the IMF that it could not collect Rs4.7 trillion while the IMF stressed that the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) should still aim at Rs5.238 trillion.
The PPP chairman also lashed out at the ruling party for changing the name of Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) which was named after his mother, former prime minister Benazir Bhutto.
“The BISP was the first social safety net programme ever launched by the PPP but they [the government] are also destroying this initiative,” he added.
“Instead of trying to introduce schemes to provide relief to the people, the government is conspiring against the existing ones.”
Bilawal regretted that the PTI-led government first removed her mother’s picture from the BISP, removed around one million women from the list of beneficiaries and had now changed its name.
“The PTI had only taken away from the people so far and given them nothing.”