KARACHI: Terming the one-year performance of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf-led federal government dismal, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah said on Sunday that the people of the country had gone through a most difficult time of their lives during the past one year.
He said this while commenting on the completion of the first year of the PTI government in the country after launching a tree plantation drive by planting a neem sapling in the courtyard of the Frere Hall.
The programme was organised by the forest department and other members of the Sindh cabinet also attended it.
Information minister Saeed Ghani terms PTI’s one-year govt a tale of 365 U-turns
In reply to a question, the chief minister said anywhere in the world particularly in the third world the performance of a government was judged by its public-welfare policies.
However, he said, in Pakistan the PTI government set an ambitious tax recovery target and it imposed heavy taxes and unleashed a wave of fear among investors to achieve it. As a result, businessmen instead of expanding their businesses had started slashing whatever investment they already had, causing growing joblessness, he added.
In such circumstances almost everyone, including salaried and the labour classes were faced with an underemployment-like situation, he said, adding that the people kept running from pillar to post all the day to earn bread and butter for their families.
“The salaried class cannot meet its domestic expenditures from its salary,” he said.
Elaborating, he said that the benchmark Karachi Stock Exchange 100 index was at 42,000 points one year ago and now it had dropped to 28,000 points. The value of US dollar and price of petrol had gone up due to which prices of everything, right from vegetables, flour, chicken, meat and other eatables increased to an unprecedented level, he said.
“These are the one-year achievements of the PTI government at the Centre,” he said and urged the government to work for the welfare of the people.
The CM said that the federal government was bound to convene a Council of Common Interest (CCI) meeting after every 90 days but the last meeting was held in November. “Now 10 months have passed but the meeting of the CCI have not been convened.”
Similarly, he said, the National Economic Council (NEC) has to meet twice a year as per the Constitution, but the PTI had convened an NEC meeting before the budget because they had to discuss the public sector development projects but the prime minister had left the meeting in the middle.
About the plantation drive, he said that the drive would be continued all over Sindh. “We have to improve density of our forest and trees in the cities for a better environment,” he said. “Apart from planting neem we must plant fruit trees to attract birds of different species.”
He directed all the deputy commissioners to plant trees in their respective districts and look after them properly. “We are also going to ban plastic bags/shoppers in the province from Oct 1 and giving people an alternative of paper bag/cloth bag,” he said.
‘A tale of 365 U-turns’
Information Minister Saeed Ghani commenting on the one-year PTI rule said incompetence, inexperience, ineptitude, incapability and self-righteousness were the hallmark of the federal government.
“The promise of good governance seems far from being fulfilled but instead bedlam, dysfunctional administration, chaos and mayhem remained the buzzword during last one year,” he said, adding that that Imran Khan was doing everything that he had censured the previous governments for.
In a statement issued on Sunday, he said that the prime minister failed to deliver every promise he made before coming into power and the performance of his cabinet during the last year was quite reprehensible.
His so-called austerity drive was also just nominal as the order of 70 luxury vehicles for his Punjab cabinet ministers was no more a secret, Mr Ghani said.
The cost of these vehicles was much higher than the money fetched by selling the luxury vehicles of the Prime Minister House, he added.
He said that instead of creating 10 million jobs and building five million homes the PTI regime’s policies had resulted in unemployment and homelessness.
The minister said that owing to constant partial accountability and use of National Accountability Bureau for personal vendetta the bureaucracy was not willing to take any responsibility for any decision. “Even after the premature change of financial authorities, the tax reforms of the present regime have also failed miserably.”
The first year of the PTI government lacked both the direction to move on as well as the decisions that were promise to change the destiny of the nation, he added.
The minister said that performance of the PTI government in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was also not up to the required standard. In KP, it had already been implicated in a scandal involving the metro bus project that was launched in 2017, he said.
Mr Ghani said that the PTI government during the last one year had failed at almost all the fronts.
The one-year rule of the PTI government was a tale of 365 U-turns and 365 lies, the minister said, adding that an independent press was one of the hallmarks of a free society, but what the PTI did with the press during its one-year rule could be termed as a constant effort of silencing the press.
Published in Dawn, August 19th, 2019