Opp slams govt over ‘unrealistic’ figures

Shehbaz Sharif says growth rate was 5.8% in PML-N’s tenure as compared to PTI’s 3.9%


Our Correspondent May 23, 2021
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif. PHOTO: EXPRESS/FILE

ISLAMABAD/ KARACHI:

The two major opposition parties — the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and the Pakistan Peoples Party — have slammed the federal government over the latest growth figures, saying that they are “unrealistic”.

“The PML-N left a 5.8% growth rate during its tenure while (Prime Minister) Imran Khan is showing 3.9%,” Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif said in a series of tweets on Saturday.

It may be recalled that a representative of the State Bank of Pakistan objected to the figure claimed by the National Assembly opposition leader, saying it is overstated. “Guess what hell our economy is in,” Shehbaz tweeted. Shehbaz said, “In its first year, the [ruling] PTI exaggerated the original growth rate of 1.9% to 3.3%.

The PML-N president also tweeted that last year, Pakistan’s per capita income fell by 3%. He asserted that independent economists are predicting a decline in the incomes of Pakistanis this year as well. “Therefore, the growth rate is unrealistic this year as well, which will be lower next year.”

He said that every week since February 25, prices have risen by a sensitive 13%. He claimed that prices of everything have risen by 17% over the year, adding that inflation is so high that food prices alone surged by 14%. “It has destroyed the middle class.”

Firing a broadside at the prime minister, Shehbaz said, “Imran Khan is running this country only for his friends.” However, the PML-N president did not mention any names.

“The PTI has left five million people unemployed and 20 million in abject poverty,” Shehbaz said.

He maintained that in a successful economy, inflation lowers, employment boosts, government builds school, hospitals and infrastructure projects.

Separately, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that the ruling PTI has a unique talent in being “absolutely shameless” when it boldly and brazenly misleads the people.

According to a statement issued on Saturday, “The federal government has, since its first day in office, been fudging numbers and stacking statistics in their favour.

“Fudging economic figures may feed the large egos in the government, but it doesn’t feed the people. These alleged facts and figures are tantamount to gaslighting the experience of the people who are being crushed under the economic failures of Imran Khan.”

The PPP chairman went on to say that since the PTI formed government in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa nearly a decade ago, poverty levels have increased exponentially, with figures showing that poverty has gone up by 8.9% to a whopping 27%.

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