The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) on Thursday slammed the federal government's economic policies for the last three years, saying that Prime Minister Imran Khan has 'no knowledge of the basics of economics' and makes decisions in line with advice from his 'courtiers'.
Addressing the opposition's pre-budget seminar, former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi claimed that under the Pakistan Tehreeke-e-Insaf (PTI) government, over five million people have become unemployed, reported Geo News.He also claimed that the PTI-led government has pushed 20 million people into poverty and has heavily burdened people by increasing the price of electricity by more than 62 per cent.
Meanwhile, financial losses due to line cuts and electricity theft have increased to 4.5 per cent, while Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited and Sui Southern Gas Company Limited were "bankrupt" today, he said.
"Pakistan's economy has shrunk by USD 19 billion in the last three years... People have received the gift of inflation through a stolen election," he said.
Meanwhile, addressing the seminar, PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif said that the party would present its own budget in response to the government's budget, Geo News reported.
"It has become difficult for the common man to live a decent life due to the rising unemployment in the last three years," the PML-N president said, adding that the current economic conditions were due to the government's "terrible performance".
On the other hand, former finance minister Miftah Ismail remarked that the Imran Khan-led regime was "toying with the economy", adding that it had increased the loans of the government and state institutions by Rs 45,000 billion."We were expecting a 6 per cent increase in Pakistan's GDP as the government had taken loans worth Rs 15,000 billion," he said.
Ismail also said that PTI-borrowed loans have increased from Rs 25,000 billion had now moved up to Rs 38,600 billion, Geo News reported.
"The government's austerity claims are lies [...] its spending has moved up from 16 per cent to 20 per cent," the former finance minister said.
Former interior minister Ahsan Iqbal said PML-N had approved development projects for Chilas and, Mirpur, and Muzaffarabad in 2016, "but even after five years, PTI is unable to inaugurate them".
Furthermore, former Sindh governor Muhammad Zubair said that PTI, before coming into power, had vowed to end corruption and unemployment in 90 days, however, it is still intact after 3 years -- and on the rise.