The economy is drastically worse because of PTI government: Bilawal Bhutto

Lahore: Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, in his address at a seminar on Current Economic Crisis and its Solutions has said that while politics can work on rhetoric and statements, taking the reality into consideration is inevitable and the common Pakistani’s economy has been compromised and is suffering because of the incompetence of the current government.

Chairman PPP said that the workers and office bearers of the Pakistan Peoples Party participated in the elections, not only against PTI but also against PML-N, and PPP had a stance in the 2018 elections that we are heading towards an economic disaster. We identified that the economic situation was difficult and the situation of the economy was not how the PML-N representatives portrayed it to be. The PTI government has made the economy drastically worse in the last 16 months. You can ask the common Pakistani man, vendors, farmers or workers how they are living these days and barely surviving.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that I believe that for any economy, confusion is the most menacing factor that tends to disrupt processes. When your government and politicians are confused, they cannot convey their plans with clarity, then that is a disadvantage for the whole community. Before going to the IMF, Imran Khan and his cabinet had decided not to go to the IMF, and instead of presenting their plan in front of the IMF, they relied more on Pakistan’s foreign friends and allies. The money that was therefore taken and its advantage that was assumed did not benefit as much. Then the government took it upon itself to introduce stabilization measures such as devaluation and an increase in interest rates which were disastrous for everyone, from the common Pakistani man to people from every strata of the society.

He said that we have no vehicle that can save the economy from the disastrous impacts that are there, so that the people can be protected. There is a difference in the approach between that of PPP and other parties, which is that we believe that this burden should be shared with those that are able to tolerate and withstand it.

Chairman Bilawal said that we will not allow negotiations with the IMF, done by the IMF employees. I believe that this way, we can give an answer to them and portray a realistic image that is beneficial for the people of Pakistan as well along with the institutions that are involved, as long as the talks are based on realistic grounds.

He said that we will have to have revenue, otherwise, how is the state going to run? From 2010-2011, the sales tax collection of the federal government was of Rs. 14 billion from the province of Sindh. Then in 2011-2012, when the Sindh province collected sales tax for itself, it was of Rs. 25 billion which is a 79 percent increase in one year, and our average increase from FBR is 22 percent and with the exception of one year, we have met each one of our tax targets. Our tax collection in Sindh is 22 percent while it is 10 percent in the FBR.
Chairman Bilawal Bhutto said that so when we say that we will achieve our aims, we are not talking in rhetoric and we do not lie, we will show what we are capable of. We will have to focus on the economic injustice that is happening right now.

He said that the kind of fruits that we have in Pakistan, I believe that you cannot find ones of such quality in the whole world, Pakistan’s mango can compete with those of the world. You might not know, that before PPP’s government, the western countries such as UK and US along with the continent of Europe were not able to buy the mangoes from Pakistan.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that you have to earn and fight for your space, and in PPP’s government, introduction of the GSP plus gave Pakistan access to Europe. We have to protect the benefits of this. Unfortunately, the previous and current government have failed to do so. We are facing difficulties in trade with Iran and we cannot trade with India. Then when we trade with China, we turn a blind eye and sign whatever free trade agreements that are there.