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PML-N govt to face defeat if election held now, say senators

06 December, 2013

ISLAMABAD: The legislators in Upper House of parliament on Thursday said the masses had rejected the PPP-led coalition government in the May 11 general elections and the PML-N government will meet the same fate if it failed to control rising price hike.

The parliamentarians regretted that people have started selling their children and are committing suicides due to their inability to feed their families just two times a day. They called the PML-N government pro-elite and pro-capitalist, saying it had no regard for the poor. Continuing the debate over Senator Raza Rabbani's motion on price hike, the senators severely criticised the government. ANP's Senator Ilyas Bilor said the prices of petroleum products had decreased in the international market by $12 per barrel but ironically OGRA has sent a summary for increase in prices.

They said that the PML-N government always claims having a team of experts but it has totally failed to keep the economy on the right track. The exchange rate of dollar, prices of essential commodities like tomato, potato and onions are increasing, while the prices of other basic necessities of life are also on the rise. Senators claimed that despite lack of experts, the previous government ran the government much better than the present one.

Senator Abdur Rauf said that the number of people below the poverty line has been on the rise ever since the PML-N government came into power. She asked why has the government decided to end subsidies although several other countries are still providing subsidies on education, agriculture and many other things. "If the current price hike continues, the future generation will become terrorist," she warned. "The government has totally forgot the election campaign slogans and is further facilitating the elite class."

Pakistan Muslim League's Saeedul Hassan Mandokhail said that the country is facing big issues like terrorism, dacoities and kidnapping from ransom, all while the common man is being burdened by increasing prices. He said people in major areas of the country were faced with starvation. He asked the government to not privatise all government departments. Meanwhile, Muhammad Mohsin Khan Leghari, an independent senator from Punjab, said price hike was caused by lack of good governance.

He said there is no mechanism to check price hike, and added that this was a provincial subject but not a single provincial government has taken appropriate measures in this regard. Leghari said no provincial government has tried to establish a proper mechanism. MQM's Senator Abdul Haseeb Khan said no federal government in the last 20 years bothered to follow articles 29 to 39, which related to removal of economic disparity in society. Regarding IMF loans, he said not a single country in the world had stood on its feet by using loans provided by this international financial institution.

He noted that the IMF strictly prohibits State Bank of Pakistan's intervention in economic affairs. The senator warned that if the government failed to reach the poor segments of society then they will reach the parliamentarians, and then there will be no parliament or democracy in the country.

He regretted that there is neither any industrial policy nor any to revive the industry. Karim Ahmad Khwaja said the PML-N government comprised of the capitalists, who had no concern for the poor. He urged the government to provide subsidy on power, gas, petroleum products and other basic necessities of life.


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