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Pakistan information minister dodges questions on inflation problem

Senator Musadik Mailk questions why PTI not taking any responsibility

SAMAA | - Posted: Oct 9, 2020 | Last Updated: 10 months ago
Posted: Oct 9, 2020 | Last Updated: 10 months ago

Inflation in Pakistan increased to 9% in September from August’s 8.2%, according to information shared by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics last week. But the country’s top government officials don’t seem to have an answer to the inflation problem.

Though the State Bank increases interest rate to tackle inflation, higher interest rates reduce demand and subsequently sales of companies. It affects profitability which means stocks become less lucrative for investors. In addition, risk-free debt instruments such as bonds, national saving certificates and T-bills become more profitable.

Information Minister Shibli Faraz attempted to dodge questions on inflation, jobs and the state of Pakistan’s economy in an interview with Paras Jahanzaib, the host of SAMAA TV’s programme News Beat, calling her explanation of what Pakistan needs a “fantasy world” and an “ideal” situation.

He said years of dirt cannot be removed in two years. The information minister said the anchor was “out of touch from reality” because she was abroad.

Jahanzaib questioned what the federal government had done in its two years to improve the economy or the prices of basics such as sugar and wheat. Faraz had no answers and choose to respond not with facts, but personal comments such as “don’t get too excited”. He said they could talk about “something else” and defended his government by comparing it to the previous governments.

He said PML-N had ruined every institution with corruption and things could not just change overnight with the push of a button.

Inflation doesn’t discriminate, he said, responding to Jahanzaib’s statistics by the World Bank on poverty, inflation and jobs.

“You will see results when our government’s five years are up,” he said.

Musadik Malik, a senator from the PML-N, said what’s important for a poor person is to have a job and food to eat. The question is, he said, how does someone find a job?

He said there’s two ways: economic development (meaning GDP growth) and development spending (meaning when the government hires workers for development projects).

He gave stats and said according to those stats, people are not finding jobs. He explained the system and how far the PTI government had gotten.

Malik responded to Faraz’s criticism and questioned what the PTI government is willing to take responsibility for.

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