Relief package

How far Rs10b shall go?

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National Assembly debate on Tuesday over the all-important issue of inflation turned into a blame game. Amid the fiery speeches, the issue went out of the focus. Aren’t these debates, or any debate for that matter, meant to hear each other out and take the positive suggestions to improve policies and strategies? It was more for the ruling PTI who should have given a patient hearing. Ideally after listening to the opposition’s point of view, a relevant minister besides offering his side of the story should have thanked the opposition for taking time to do a job that was not theirs. He should also have highlighted what particular suggestion was worth being considered and adopted.

 

But we seem to have lost that culture of tolerance and listening to others. The PTI never helped in creating an amiable environment in the assembly since they assumed power. So much so that the first ever session was mired in acrimony. The Prime Minister Imran Khan’s first speech was no different from his container top salvos.

 

Apart from a brief period in the past month when the services chief related bills were passed we did not see a single harmonious session.

 

In the ongoing session, the opposition too instead of offering constructive criticism resorted to standard rhetoric. Bilawal’s speech as it progressed assumed more personal tone towards the prime minister and which later was responded to in the same coin by the federal minister for communications Murad Saeed.

 

The question to ponder is whether Rs10 billion shall be enough to stem the tide of inflation. Will the utility stores be able to cater to all the population? What has happened to the inquiry into the flour and sugar scams? As per information ministry, the report prepared by the committee was found unsatisfactory and returned with more questions and it shall take three more weeks to come up with a ‘satisfactory’ report. It is not yet clear whether the committee is mandated to find out the culprits?

The allegation by the opposition and media that the cartels and mafia are within the ranks of the PTI are damning. And it will be better for the rulers if they come clean on this count, and soon.