Posted: Feb 11, 2020 | Last Updated: 10 months ago
Pakistan Peoples Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari flayed on Tuesday the government for record inflation in the country as he quoted the increase in prices and loans since the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf came to power.The PPP chairman was addressing the National Assembly session on Tuesday. He pointed to the empty treasury benches, which according to him manifested how serious the government was in discussing the issue of inflation.According to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, he said, inflation didn't increase as rapidly over the past 10 years as it grew in the last one year.Inflation was 6.2% in Jan 2019 and now it has reached up to 14.5%, Bilawal said. Food inflation was 1.6% and now it has reached up to 25%."These are not my figures, Mr Speaker," he said. "These figures are from your own bureau of statistics."On top of all this, the PPP chairman said, the government increased gas and power tariffs by 55% and 14%, respectively."We all have to go to our constituencies and answer to the people," he said. "They are asking us 'should we feed our children or pay our gas and electricity bills'."Bilawal said he didn't understand how a majority of members of the house faced their constituents. Public representatives can't stay silent on this "economic murder", he added."But only the ones, who don't represent the people and who came through some other way, only they can say that there's no inflation, people are facing no problems and the economy is growing," the PPP chairman said."If this tyranny is not economic murder of the people then what else is it?"He recalled how Prime Minister Imran Khan used to say that inflation increases under a corrupt prime minister."Mr Speaker, when your government is ineligible, incompetent and selected and [you] are not public representative, then there's also no realisation of the people's suffering," Bilawal said."PM must tell us which corruption of his has led to such an increase in inflation, or [he] must admit what we say that he's ineligible, incompetent and selected."He said whatever the case might be, but the prime minister would have to provide relief to the people.The PPP chairman also recalled PM Khan's statement in which he said he would commit suicide rather than acquiring foreign loans."And now the State Bank of Pakistan says the government acquired loans worth Rs11,000 billion in the last 15 months," he said.The government always speaks of the past, he said, as he detailed loans taken by the past governments.Bilawal said Rs6,000 billion loans were acquired by governments from 1947 to 2008.He said the former PPP government borrowed Rs5 billion per day from 2008 to 2013, while the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz borrowed Rs8 billion a day from 2013 to 2018."But in the past months during the PTI government's tenure, we have been borrowing Rs25 billion every day," the PPP chairman said.He said these were not opposition's figures, but reports of the government itself and stats of its own institutions."Imran Khan said he would commit suicide, Mr Speaker, suicide is not our demand," Bilawal said."Our demand is you admit that you were and are wrong and give relief to the people," he said. "Or else [you] will have to go home."