PML-N vows to block mini-budget

Published December 28, 2021
PML-N vice president Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and the party’s parliamentary leader in the National Assembly Khawaja Asif jointly preside over the meeting of the PML-N parliamentary party on Monday. — Screengrab via PML-N Twitter
PML-N vice president Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and the party’s parliamentary leader in the National Assembly Khawaja Asif jointly preside over the meeting of the PML-N parliamentary party on Monday. — Screengrab via PML-N Twitter

ISLAMABAD: Rejecting the government’s plan to present mini-budget in the National Assembly, the main opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) on Monday pledged to fight against it with full strength from the platform of joint opposition “to guard the nation against this blatant injustice and economic terrorism”.

This was decided in a meeting of the PML-N parliamentary party at the Parliament House which was attended by senior leadership of the party, according to a press release issued by PML-N information secretary Marriyum Aurangzeb.

The meeting was jointly presided over by PML-N vice president Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and the party’s parliamentary leader in the National Assembly Khawaja Asif.

The meeting took stock of the economic and political situation in the country. The participants discussed various strategies to counter mini-budget and other government bills in the parliament.

The meeting urged the government’s allies not to compromise national and public interests by becoming part of the PTI’s “anti-public actions”.

They also discussed the matter of outreach towards government allies. Strategy for ensuring attendance of all parliamentarians from joint opposition on the day of the tabling of mini-budget and government bills was discussed.

The PML-N members observed that the government had already destroyed the economy and its wrong decisions had crushed the people under the mountain of inflation.

They said that economic debt was hitting the roof while the national currency was facing constant devaluation. Industry, textile, trade and manufacturing were all on the verge of collapse, as a result of which millions were losing their jobs while their families feared starvation, they said.

The PML-N leaders said constant and unbearable rise in the prices of essential commodities and utilities had broken the back of the nation. All this was going on at a time when debt payments were at an all-time high Rs50.5 trillion in the history of the country.

“Social injustice, cruelty and economic terrorism against the people of Pakistan must end,” they said.

They pointed out that despite skyrocketing tariffs of electricity and gas, circular debt had doubled over just three years and five months of the PTI rule. The staggering increase in the current account deficit, trade deficit and policy rate were pouring oil on the fire of economic destruction, they said.

The meeting agreed that the government had failed to protect national and public interests under these grave circumstances created by it. They said the people would be forced to commit mass suicides if the government was allowed to continue any further.

The meeting unanimously agreed that the mini-budget on the directive of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) would annihilate the country like a nuclear bomb and as a result, inflation would increase manifold. The already choked industry, trade and economy as a whole would stop breathing altogether and the country would be mortgaged to the IMF.

The PML-N parliamentary party ruled that this was compromising Pakistan’s sovereignty which it condemned in the strongest manner possible. It declared that it would be treason against the country, its people and national interest to enslave Pakistan and surrender its sovereignty by bulldozing legislation through the parliament.

The meeting also condemned the violation of Supreme Court’s orders by displaying an advertisement with Imran Khan’s pictures on the parliament building and demanded that the higher judiciary must take notice of this.

The government is planning to present the mini-budget in the National Assembly on Wednesday (tomorrow) after its approval by the federal cabinet on Tuesday (today).

Published in Dawn, December 28th, 2021

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