KARACHI: Predicting fall of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Friday hinted at giving another raise in the minimum wage across the province arguing that the recent inflation caused by ‘bad policies’ of the Imran Khan government had dealt a severe blow to the salaried class of the country.
He said this while speaking at a protest demonstration organised by the Pakistan Peoples Party at Dawood Chowrangi against price hike and ‘failed’ economic policies of the PTI government at the Centre.
The protest demonstration was organised with full support of local and provincial administration as the CM, his cabinet members, Karachi administrator and a large number of legislators from National Assembly and Sindh Assembly participated in the protest.
Amid blocked movement of vehicular traffic on both sides of the road, police security and protocol arrangements for dignitaries attending the protest, the PPP leaders vowed that their struggle would continue in line with the party chairman’s directives, who had called for demonstrations across Pakistan against the growing inflation and deteriorating economy of the country.
The demonstration was attended by a large number of people, including women and children.
Bilawal to be next PM
The chief minister, who joined the protest at near its ending, stated that the ‘incompetent leaders’ sitting in Islamabad would sooner or later be “thrown out” of power corridors by the people of Pakistan and the next set up of the government would be much more democratic and transparent.
“As you are chanting slogans, everyone knows that only Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari can steer this country out of this crisis and soon he would become prime minister of the country with the support of people of Pakistan,” he said to the roar of the crowd.
“It was his [Bilawal’s] directives for all of us to make sure that every worker in Sindh gets the minimum wage of Rs25,000 to deal with this rising inflation. However, as our cabinet has recently decided to ensure implementation of the minimum wage of Rs25,000 across government and private organisations, a large number of cabinet members are suggesting to further increasing the minimum wage to Rs30,000.”
He said that the increase in the minimum wage had been suggested considering the fact that a tsunami of price hike had been unleashed due to mismanagement and incompetence of this selected government.
He termed PTI ministers, economic advisers and managers as ‘Aristotle’ saying that they ridiculed the people by justifying inflation while some of them even tried to prove benefits of the price hike.
Without naming State Bank Governor Reza Baqir, whose remarks about the benefits of currency devaluation for overseas Pakistanis elicited strong criticism from the people, Mr Shah asked him to draw salary in local currency to know the ground realities.
“One of their Aristotle has said that it’s a good sign that the dollar value has increased. He’s right to say this because he draws salaries in dollars. He has spent his whole life in foreign countries. One can only laugh at their arguments and justifications,” Mr Shah said.
Published in Dawn, October 23rd, 2021