Pakistan thanks Qatar for timely LNG supplies despite shortage globally

Govt saved country from bankruptcy: Hammad Azhar

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ISLAMABAD: The government has saved the country from bankruptcy and put the economy back on track, the federal energy minister said on Wednesday.

Speaking at the National Assembly session, Hamad Azhar said the Pakistan Justice Movement (PTI) government has repaid a record loan amount and made difficult decisions to correct the direction of the economy.

He said the country was on the brink of bankruptcy when PML-N left the government, but PTI sidestepped their policies and made decisions that led to the country’s growth.

The minister asserted that crop yields have increased compared to PML-N’s holding period, as 2021 will see the highest urea sales, leading to fertilizer shortages.

Turning to inflation in the country, the energy minister said the rise in commodity prices was due to supply chain issues caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Exports have grown by 25% to 30% and will reach $30 billion by the end of the financial year, Hammad Azhar said.

The energy minister said the government is fully aware of the problems the people are facing due to inflation. He said that after COVID-19, the government paid about Rs 2,000 crore to millions of deserving families under the Ehsaas scheme. We are also providing people with Insaaf Sehat Card, each household is entitled to medical services worth Rs 1 lakh, he said. He said that the international community appreciates Pakistan’s successful response to the new crown epidemic.

Earlier, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said the country had never seen such a bad economic situation in the country.

Addressing members of the National Assembly (NA), the PPP leader said the government PTI signed a weak agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), adding that the general public is suffering the consequences of the agreement.

Prime Minister Imran Khan is preparing to raise prices on basic goods. New Pakistan means nothing but unemployment, inflation and poverty. This is not change, but destruction, he said.

Bilawal Bhutto has accused the current government of disrupting the agricultural sector and farmers by creating a urea crisis. He said ministers had made ineffective decisions because of their stubbornness and ego.

The PPP leader said the government rejected the NA Shehbaz Sharif Opposition Leader’s proposal for the National Economic Dialogue. Ministers insisted not to speak to the opposition on any issue. You could have taken a stand against the IMF, he said.

Bilawal Bhutto further asserts that the mini budget will increase the price of a 1000cc car by 100%. He went on to say that the “Twitter and Facebook” party has also imposed new taxes on the information technology (IT) sector and aid funds.

PPP head asks when PM will stop selling his lies and think of the people. He asked the federation to increase the wages of government employees by 100%, adding that the Sindh authorities had set Rs 25,000 as the minimum wage to provide relief to the state.

He further said that the agricultural sector has been hit hard by the uneven distribution of water resources. The Prime Minister says coronavirus is the major crisis of the century, but it’s not. He reiterated that he [Imran Khan] is actually the biggest crisis in Pakistan.

Referring to the new initiative of the PTI government, Bilawal said that the health card will seriously affect the health sector in the country. Federation abuses resources in the name of medical cards. We need to raise the standard in hospitals, he said.

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