ISLAMABAD: PPP Parliamentary Leader in Senate, Senator Sherry Rehman raises several questions regarding the government’s deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). “Since the government has prorogued both houses of parliament, what we know of the deal, we know through the media. The government must immediately clarify the terms of the deal before the parliament and the people of Pakistan,” said the Senator.
“The IMF’s official statement says that current arrangements would be rebalanced with the provinces, what does this mean? This is highly questionable because the NFC is a constitutional matter. Why are possible alterations to a resource allocation formula, which is protected by the constitution through an act parliament, being discussed with the IMF?” asked Rehman.
The Senator said, “PTI said it would prefer committing suicide over striking a deal with the IMF but ever since it assumed power, all they did was take huge multi-lateral loans like the $9.2 billion loan it took right in front of us. The total in nine months, which has come to Rs. 3,653 billion, is even more mind boggling! Everyone is aware that this government has done the worst kind of borrowing in the history of this country and stacked it on against its future”.
Rehman further added, “Tabdeeli sarkar has turned out to be Ghulami sarkar. It has knelt down before the IMF like no other government has ever done. Instead of relief for Ramzan it has brought the 22nd IMF program in the harshest of terms and price hikes like none of the previous governments have done so far. We now wait for the dollar rate to spike up and see the terrible downstream hardship it inflicts on the people. This is going to be a dangerous situation for Pakistan. Considering this is just a team level approval, the board is likely waiting to see how much punishment the government is ready to impose on the people of Pakistan”.
“As far as the amnesty scheme goes, the government’s former Finance Minister used to say that it would not go for one at any cost. They criticized it just as much as we did. Amnesty schemes are limited and cannot be introduced frequently. If the government just wanted to whiten black money then why did it make big promises? The government claimed that the amnesty scheme is for the corrupt, if so, who is it offering this scheme to now? Who are the friends who would benefit from this? Important questions are piling up and the government is slowly getting exposed,” continued the Senator.
The former Senate Opposition Leader said, “We rejected any ordinance brought in while parliament was in session. Is this why both the Houses of Parliament were suddenly prorogued overnight when we were expecting the Senate to pass the 26th Constitutional Amendment Bill? So the ordinance could be sneaked in without parliament?”
“If the government has good intentions why is it only briefing its members and allied parties on the IMF deal? Why is it intimidated by the parliament? Why is it hiding? The Prime Minister has only come to the Senate once in nine months. What kind of ‘naya’ Pakistan are they building where democracy and the parliament are being sidelined? They are doing everything they used to vehemently oppose before coming to power. Are they ready for the economic slowdown this program will cause for the economy? Who will answer the cries of the rising jobless in naya Pakistan? And for those who can’t pay for transport or electricity in the worst regime of regression taxation in the history of Pakistan!” Rehman exclaimed.