Sherry criticises govt for indecision regarding crucial economic matters


–Senator says country cannot run on debts but govt overburdening economy with it

–Trains guns at centre over ministers’ absence from parliament, running ordinances

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Senator Sherry Rehman on Thursday deplored the precarious economic situation and criticised the government for its “indecision regarding crucial economic matters”.

“Our external and domestic debt of Rs36 billion, which was previously Rs10 billion, is piling up on a daily basis. Our domestic debt has risen by 5.5% since June 2018 while external debt has risen by 17%. Now, the government has resorted to borrowing Rs400 billion from Islamic banks to ease circular debt pressures,” she said while speaking on the floor of the Upper House.

This is what the “kashkol sarkar” has done to Pakistan in seven months, she added.

The senator went on to say that the country could not be run on debts but the government was overburdening the economy with it. “They are leading the economy towards a dangerous pitfall, to a point of no return. The government’s revenues are much lower than its expenses, leading to a budget deficit.”

She said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) made tall claims of ridding the country of debt and make Pakistan sovereign but that’s only possible if they could show how they met the expenses from the resources they had at their disposal.

“That is what the budget exercise is all about.”

“The ship of Pakistan is drifting on a deep, dark and dangerous sea and we have no answers. The public and investors are asking serious questions, everyone knows that indecision is the worst thing that can happen to an economy and they seem oblivious to this,” Sherry said.

She further said the ministers were preferring to go to talk shows and explain things instead of doing so in the parliament. “There still has been no explanation for the recent rupee crash that resulted in an additional Rs1,500 billion external loan for the country.”

It is unfortunate, Sherry added, that despite Senate’s consistent invitations through proper instruments, the ministers had shown no inclination to attend sessions or important meetings.

“When a minister shows up in the parliament, it is an act of respect to the house and the nation. The ones we have running our ministries today do not even bother to offer an excuse for their absence.”

Speaking on the ordinance to further amend Election Act 2017 relating to FATA, Sherry said, “We all maintain that FATA should be facilitated. However, this should have been presented, deliberated and debated in the parliament. The Senate is currently in session, the National Assembly is also going to be in session within a few days but the government is running one ordinance after the other.”

“They should respect the democratic norms,” she concluded.