No option but IMF-fixed budget, says NA

ISLAMABAD: Accusing the previous government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) of bringing the country to the brink of bankruptcy, federal climate change minister Senator Sherry Rehman on Wednesday said that the current coalition government has, in addition to presenting the budget. there is no substitute. Dictation and terms of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

“This is absolutely the IMF budget. There is no doubt about it,” Ms. Rahman declared while participating in the general debate on the federal budget for fiscal year 2022-23 in the National Assembly, which was in session for nearly three hours without a quorum.

Apart from Ms Rehman, almost all the lawmakers criticized the PTI government and its leader Imran Khan for allegedly ruining the country’s economy.

“If this is the IMF budget, who has hooked us up with the IMF?” He asked alleging that the PTI government during its four-year rule has led the country to a lapse. He said that PTI is ready to create chaos in the country even after leaving its economy on ventilator.

Opposition walkout on absence of ministers

Ms Rahman justified the decision of the coalition parties to form the government through a no-confidence vote to then Prime Minister Imran Khan, knowing that they may have to pay a heavy political price for it in the upcoming general elections, and said that otherwise the country would be in Sri Lanka. Like moving towards default.

“Pakistan was moving downhill like a train on a slippery slope…the new unity government has only applied brakes and nothing else. This is called crisis management,” Ms Rahman said, adding that no government wants to burden its people. At the same time, he told the house that the country will have to take some more tough decisions.

He said that first the PTI government linked the new government to the worst IMF agreement and then violated it, leaving the country exposed to the entire multilateral financial system.

“Unfortunately, even after the collapse of the economy, they continue to fuel the fire of political instability in the country, which is extremely dangerous for Pakistan, especially now,” he said.

“when they [PTI] When he came to power, he said that he would end corruption. Instead, Pakistan is now ranked 140th on the Transparency International Corruption Index from its previous 117th position. Let us not forget the foreign gifts that Imran Khan bought them at huge discounts only to sell them abroad,” he said, referring to PTI making promises with the IMF, taking loans, and spending money on shaky programs.

“It is the poison cup that PTI has left for us, but as it has happened in the last two months, this government will take tough decisions,” he said. There will be tough times and tough times before we are stable,” she said.

He said that the government will have to take tough decisions to break the debt trap and bring about fundamental changes in the economic model so that it can be put on the right track. He said that in the last 70 years different governments negotiated about 23 IMF programs but always tried to put minimum burden on the common man.

Opposition walkout

Ms Rahman had taken to the floor after the first walkout from the Assembly over the absence of ministers and Treasury members from the proceedings of the House by the opposition led by Leader of the Opposition Raja Riaz Ahmed.

However, Mr Ahmed, along with another PTI dissident Ahmed Hussain Dehar, left the assembly hall after announcing a complete boycott of the day’s proceedings, within minutes at the persuasion of Health Minister Abdul Qadir Patel and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) MNA Agha. returned home. Rafiullah, who was sent by Deputy Speaker Zahid Akram Durrani to bring back the protesting MPs.

Several lawmakers, including Sheikh Rohale Asghar of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), had earlier pointed to the absence of ministers and lack of interest by the members. Only two ministers were present in the assembly hall when a member of the PML-N complained about the lack of interest by the members, pointing to the vacant benches.

Earlier, Saira Bano of the Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) also opposed the absence of Treasury members, saying MPs were more interested in visiting constituencies for local government election campaigns.

Published in Dawn, June 23, 2022