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PML-N and PPP blame each other for inflation

10 December, 2013

ISLAMABAD: As the National Assembly commenced the debate on increase in prices of essential commodities, the members of the ruling PML-N and Pakistan People's Party (PPP) held each other's respective government responsible for the menace of price hike instead of addressing problems of the common man.

Asad Umar of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), however, focused on the topic, but held both the PPP's last government and the present PML-N government responsible for price hike and inflation in the country. "The PPP government printed Rs 525 billion worth of currency notes every year, whereas the present government is printing Rs 6.3 billion worth currency notes on daily basis, increasing inflation rate from 5% to 10.9% in a brief time of less than one year," he said.

Shazia Marri of the PPP kicked off the debate on a motion to discuss increase in prices of essential commodities. She attacked the youth policy of the PML-N and lashed out at the ruling party's leaders for criticising the nationalisation policy of the Zulfikar Ali Bhutto regime. "The nationalisation policy of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was a philosophy and vision which protected rights of labours," she said. Shazia Marri said that through his nationalisation policy Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto protected the rights of the working class, whereas the PML-N government would not be able to safeguard their rights by privatising vital industrial units and organisations.

She also criticised the PML-N government for imposing 8% interest on loans to be given to the youth under the recently announced youth policy. "Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif should have demonstrated generosity by extending assistance, not loans, to the youth," she said, adding that the youth policy was "just a family show". Marri said it required courage to take bold decisions to turn around economy, and claimed that it was former president Asif Zardari who showed courage and blocked NATO supply for eight months.

Captain (r) Muhammad Safdar and Mian Abdul Manan of PML-N, in their speeches, reacted strongly to allegations of Shazia Marri. Safdar said the PPP's last government obtained record foreign loans but could not undertake even a single hydropower project to address the energy crisis. "The energy crisis also started during the tenure of PPP in 1993," he said. He said that Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was a great leader, but he committed some mistakes, which included the nationalisation policy.

Defending the youth policy of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, PML-N member Mian Abdul Manan said the government has spared Rs 100 billion to support youth of the country. Asad Umar of the PTI said that it is for the first time in 65 years history of Pakistan that inflation has jumped from 5% to 10.9% in present government's tenure. " If the last government of the PPP followed poor financial policies, the present government has taken a step ahead," he said.

Umar feared that if the present situation continues, it would lead to the hyper-inflation in the country. Mentioning some caused of price hike of essential commodities, the PTI parliamentarian said that under an agreement with the IMF, the State Bank of Pakistan intervened to devalue rupee, while the price of electricity has also been doubled.


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