PML-N presents demands for upcoming budget

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Staff Report

Islamabad

A day after Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari hosted an “informal get together” over iftar for the opposition, Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) met on Monday at Parliament House to discuss the ongoing situation in the country and the party’s future strategy.

Talking to the media after the meeting former premier Shahid Khaqan Abbasi demanded that the government come forward with the conditions set by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) so that the “public would know the deal we have made with the Fund”.

Abbasi said that there were “a lot of suspicions” regarding the conditions that the government had agreed to with the Fund.

Abbasi said that the State Bank of Pakistan had raised the policy interest rate by 1.5 per cent all of a sudden which would have an adverse effect on the business community and will also lead to an increase in unemployment.

“In any country, if the rate increases even by 0.1pc, it becomes part of a public debate whereas here, the budget has not been announced, the deal with the IMF has not even been signed yet and the State Bank increased the policy interest rate by 1.5pc,” he said.

Abbasi announced that the PML-N had decided to propose an “alternative economic strategy” in order to protect the country from “this government’s anti-public policies”.

The party will also put forward a set of demands that should be included in the budget, Abbasi said.

He denied that the party was planning to protest against the government and said “This is a fallen government. We don’t mean to overthrow it, our real aim [is to solve] public’s problems.”

The meeting was held in the opposition leader’s chamber and was attended by PML-N parliamentarians and the party’s central, provincial and district leadership. Maryam Nawaz, one of PML-N’s vice presidents, also attended the meeting.

Speaking to the media after the meeting, Maryam said she doesn’t accept the authority of the fake and puppet prime minister because he is an insult to the office.

The PML-N leader said that the country will remain in crisis if the vote is not given its due respect. “The NAB can’t see properties discovered of Aleema Khan. It doesn’t call their names,” Maryam said after the party’s high-level huddle.

She said that there won’t be any credibility left of accountability process due to selected accountability. “The fake prime minister and ministers tell the world who NAB is going to arrest in next five days,” Maryam added.

The PML-N leader said that the party follows only one narrative which is of its leader Nawaz Sharif, even those who disagreed with Nawaz’s narrative is now standing with him.

“If a person calls for the implementation of the constitution then no one should have any objection,” he said. “A democratically elected government can resolve the prevailing issues.”

In response to a question regarding PML-N’s weak role in the opposition, she hinted that the party will play a stronger role in the parliament from now on.

Demands for budget

Minimum wage should be increased to Rs20,000

Power, gas tariffs, urea price should be reverted to that of May 31, 2018

Petrol Prices be brought down to a tolerable level

No new taxes should be introduced

Tax rates should not be increased