The auction of buffaloes and vehicles has turned Pakistan into a joke, said Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.
The PPP chairperson was speaking on Thursday to the media in Islamabad.
“The international media is saying that Pakistan is relying on buffaloes to sustain its economy,” he said. “People need to compare the amount generated [by the austerity drive] and the money spent on advertising it. Everything will be clear then,” he remarked.
The government auctioned off eight buffaloes of PM House on Thursday. The buffaloes were sold within two hours and the highest price paid for a single animal was Rs385,000. A total of Rs2.3 million was made during the auction.
Bilawal remarked that the mini-budget presented by the ruling PTI government was nothing but a ‘mini-drama’.
“I don’t see any plan to increase growth. False promises were made that jobs would be generated,” he said.
The prices of gas and electricity have gone up. “The steps they have taken directly affect the common man,” he added.
Finance Minister Asad Umer needs to tell people how he plans to overcome the deficit of Rs13 billion, he said. “I thought Asad Umar would approve a pro-people budget to provide them relief.”
Unfortunately, the mini-budget has only benefited the rich. It has only benefited the black market, non-tax filers and the ATMs of Imran Khan, he remarked.
The All Pakistan Newspapers Society issued a statement saying that the federal information minister wants to make provincial ministers subservient to him. “I stand by their statement,” said the PPP chief. “Not only is this an insult to the 18th Amendment, but it has also endangered the freedom of the press.”
The PPP scion said that journalists in the country are being tried for treason. “The media is constantly working in fear.”
Freedom of expression and freedom of the press are pillars of democracy, he said. “Without them, only a sham democracy exists.”
This issue should be taken seriously, Bilawal said, adding that PM Khan should respect the freedom of the press and guarantee it.