PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal has said the last PML-N government had set up energy projects to meet the need of an economy that was predicted by the World Bank to grow by 6% to 7 % by the year 2019-20 but the “incompetent” PTI government tanked the economy, reducing the need for electricity.
“If the PML-N policies had been followed, the growth rate of our economy would have been 6% to 7%.
“In view of the future demand, the PML-N had brought in electricity projects. However the mismanagement, ineptness and incompetence of this selected government have brought the growth down to negative numbers, reducing the need for electricity,” Iqbal said on Sunday.
The PML-N secretary general was addressing the media in his hometown to respond to the government’s claim that the PML-N government brought surplus electricity in the national grid.
“Accusing the PML-N of bringing surplus electricity is like shifting the blame of the government’s incompetence to the PML-N. The PTI criticizes the PML-N for making capacity payment which is like twisting the facts,” he added.
He asked where in the entire world are energy projects set up without commitment of capacity payments.
“We are ready to have a debate with the PTI on any channel of their choice to establish that energy projects were set up at a reasonable rate.”
Regarding the positive outlook of the economy, Ahsan said the government cannot mask its failure behind lies and false hopes. He claimed that the government is showing fudged figures of the economy.
He said that the finance minister, Shaukat Tarin, had conceded last month that the economy was in bad shape. “What magic wand did he use to fix the economy in two months? Our finance minister should be given the Nobel Prize for fixing the economy in two months.”
He said false figures will not create a feel-good factor; reduced prices of essential commodities and utility bills would. Despite changing the finance minister four times, the government still doesn’t have a roadmap or a strategy to fix the economy, he added.
He accused the government of launching Rs5 billion a social media campaign to project its good image. He said the reality is that PML-N had maintained an average growth rate of 4%, while the PTI has maintained a growth rate at 1.8%.
“Our GDP shrunk from $315 billion to $290 billion. Per capita income has fallen resultantly. People have reduced their food consumption, restricted the use of medicines and curtailed use of electricity to make ends meet.”
Ahsan also accused the PTI-led federal government of stealing Punjab’s resources and not giving it its due share of funds. He also accused the government of depriving the people of their local governments.
He urged the Supreme Court to hold trial of Prime Minister Imran Khan and Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar for contempt of court and disqualify them for not restoring the local government despite clear-cut court orders – “as the court had disqualified prime minister Yousuf Raza Gillani”.
He accused the government of taking bribes in posting and transfers.
“Recently, Patwaris jobs were auctioned for Rs1m to 1.5m. PM Imran Khan has given his ministers and agents a free hand to fleece the people and to drain the national exchequer,” he claimed.