ISLAMABAD: Soon after the press conference of opposition leaders led by Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari in which they rejected the new budget presented by the federal government, the PTI ministers on Sunday termed the opposition stance an attempt to provoke people just for political point scoring.
Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar accompanied by Information Minister Shibli Faraz and Communications Minister Murad Saeed criticised the opposition and said that due to them (opposition leaders), the country was facing financial crisis and they were responsible for deteriorating condition of economy.
Mr Azhar, who presented the budget in the National Assembly on June 12, said that for the first time in the country’s history no new tax had been imposed in the budget and people had been given relief.
“As per its tradition of political point scoring, the opposition has rejected the annual budget that has provided relief to the poor. We provided relief to 16 million families under Ehsaas emergency programme and three million businessmen have been given exemption in electricity bills to ease difficulties they are facing during the pandemic,” he said.
Ministers say relief has been provided to poor people
He said that the government was expecting that the situation would be different as the country was facing the pandemic, but the opposition was in the habit of looking at their own interests and did not care for people and the country.
The minister said that the government had reduced prices of petroleum products in the past and the recent surge in the prices was due to hike in international market. He said that the opposition should look at the figures in international market.
Mr Faraz said that the federal budget will be approved on Monday (today). “The opposition’s delusions will all be wiped out tomorrow when the budget will be passed.”
He said that the opposition had passed the buck on its incompetence during their tenures and blamed the government and had itself become a spectator.
“Today’s media talk by the opposition shows that they are not sincere,” he said.
Referring to the PPP and the PML-N, the minister said that the two major political parties were responsible for the current plight of the people.
He said that Prime Minister Imran Khan was bringing the country on development path and it was not acceptable for the opposition. He said that the opposition was “corruption addict” and it did not want to see Imran Khan (to continue to rule the country) who had no financial interests.
He said that the PML-N was divided between Nawaz group, Shahbaz group, Maryam group and Shahid Khaqan group, but the PTI was united under the leadership of Imran Khan.
Murad Saeed said that the PTI led government was aware of the problems of the people and it was working on fast track to provide all possible facilities to them.
He said that 200 panahgahs had been established across the country to provide shelter to the working class. He said that reforms were being introduced in different government departments and improvement would be witnessed soon. He said the Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governments had provided Sehat Insaaf cards to deserving families.
The minister asked the Sindh government where it had spent the amount allocated for health, education and poverty alleviation in the province. He expressed the hope that the country would move forward under the leadership of Imran Khan with the support of the nation.
Published in Dawn, June 29th, 2020