Govt’s agreement with IMF has challenged nation’s sovereignty: Bilawal

PPP chairman says govt can't hide inefficiency by shifting blame of inflation on IMF

Our Correspondent June 06, 2021
Chairman Pakistan People's Party (PPP) Bilawal Bhutto addressing a press conference in Islamabad on June 4, 2021. SCREENGRAB


Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto said on Sunday that the government had put the sovereignty of the nation at stake by signing an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on tough conditions.

“If India could overcome inflation by 4.20 per cent and Bangladesh could do the same by 5.54 per cent, during the Covid pandemic; why was the ratio 10.9 per cent in Pakistan?” he asked in a statement released today.

Bilawal maintained that the government could not cover its inefficiency by shifting the blame of inflation on the IMF.

He went on to add that, "The mafia working under Imran Khan’s supervision raised the prices of chicken by 110 per cent in the past three months."

“The PTI elite minted billions by raising the prices of chicken, and unfortunately, they will now lower the prices and claim credit.”

The PPP chief observed that a common man did not have money, criticising the premier for "planning to hand over billions to PTI lawmakers in the forthcoming budget".

Read ‘PM has already offered PML-N an NRO’

He added that the, “Awarding Rs96 billion to PTI lawmakers in the midst of the worst economic crisis is [an] anti-people [step]”

“Instead of handing out billions to those elected through rigging, the premier should spend money from the exchequer on people’s welfare,” the PPP chief maintained.

Bilawal stated that the government had remained unable to bring about its five-year economic plan. “If the PTI’s policy is to plan the economy on the IMF’s directions, then the premier should tell people openly that he came to power without any planning.

On June 3, Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin claimed that the IMF forced Pakistan to increase interest rates and electricity prices that doubled the cost of debt servicing and pushed inflation upward.

In a rejoinder to the PML-N’s critique of the government’s economic policies, the minister also said that when the PML-N was in power, the 5.5% economic growth rate was fueled by borrowings.

“Debt servicing increased because of the increase in interest rates,” Tarin told The Express Tribune.

He added that inflation had increased due to high capacity payments and the IMF forced the government to increase electricity prices by 46% at the start of the programme.