A view of the National Assembly. — Photo by APP

ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly on Friday approved constituting a special committee of the House to examine and scrutinize utilisation of loans by respective governments since 1985.

The House adopted a consensus resolution moved by opposition member Chaudhry Ahsan Iqbal to constitute such a committee that will investigate and report back to the House within 60 days of its constitution about the amounts, sources and utilisation of loans drawn by different governments.

The decision was taken after the opposition member claimed that the government had doubled the borrowing magnitude during the last four years.

Chief Whip and Minister for Religious Affairs Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah actually proposed to constitute a commission to probe the issue and showing his readiness to initiate an investigation, he asked the opposition member to bring a resolution to the House.

Ahsan Iqbal claimed that the public debt had surged to Rs12 trillion while quoting the State Bank's quarterly report.

“Our economic indicators are unsatisfactory. Investment is shrinking and exports are under pressure. We must remember that strong economy means a strong nation and a weak economy means a weak nation,” he noted.

Chief Whip Khursheed Shah said criticism was the right of the opposition but it should not forget the positive indicators.

“We do not want to hide anything from the nation. Let us constitute a commission to investigate the amount of loans drawn during different periods and their spending.”

He said the present government had expanded the tax net taking the Rs900 billion target of four years back to Rs1950 billion at present.

Dollar to rupee exchange rate that had reached Rs 95 per dollar has come down to Rs91 per dollar and will further come down to Rs85 per dollar within next one and a half months, he added.

Shah said when the government increased prices of petroleum products, everybody criticized it but when the prices were reduced nobody praised the government. The sugar price has come down from Rs 110 to Rs 55 per kg and that of rice from Rs90 to Rs65 per kg.

Updated Jul 13, 2012 05:34pm

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