ISLAMABAD: Facing the challenge of getting a controversial law passed ahead of a $1 billion bailout package to meet the needs of the International Monetary Fund, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday said the country’s economic situation under his government is still in the lurch. Our economic situation is better than in many countries, especially India.
Addressing the opening ceremony, Khan said, “Pakistan is still one of the cheapest countries in the world compared to (many countries). International Chambers Summit 2022 organized by Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) in Islamabad He added that the oil prices in the country are still low as compared to other countries.
His claims coincide with a heated debate on a finance bill that the current government has introduced in Parliament. The bill is one of the requirements to be met by Pakistan under the program agreed with the IMF in July 2019. If passed, the law would pave the way for the distribution of a $1 billion tranche. The controversial Finance Bill included full autonomy of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).
As the matter was taken up for debate in the National Assembly, Leader of the Opposition and PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif questioned how it was possible for the country to have nuclear power on one side and a begging bowl on the other.
Attacking the government, the PML-N president said that the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has drowned the country’s economy and is putting its security at risk.
He demanded the government to withdraw the controversial Finance Bill. “We have our own political differences… but bring another bill and we will support it,” he said on the floor of the House. Shahbaz warned that the opposition would protest in the House and on the streets if the government tried to bulldoze such a bill. “They are selling Pakistan’s economy and independence for a billion dollars,” Shahbaz warned.