ISLAMABAD, April 21, 2020: Parliamentary Leader in Senate, Senator Sherry Rehman, questioned the Federal government for spreading misinformation and not applying for the G20 debt relief programme. She questioned, “Why has Pakistan failed to formally ask G-20 for debt relief? It is alarming that the Federal government was misleading the public, especially during these testing times.”
Contrary to claims made by Federal government about securing a substantial debt relief, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) resident representative, Teresa Sanchez, said that Islamabad has not made an official request to G20 countries for payment relaxation.
“Pakistan should have officially requested G-20 nations for debt relief. It is important to point out that only those countries could avail debt relief that had made official requests to the G-20. In Pakistan’s case, this never happened”, the Senator added.
“When no official request was made to the G-20 nations for debt relief, then why was misleading news circulating in the media that Pakistan would secure $12 billion worth of relief? This will not only cause chaos and confusion inside Pakistan but is also embarrassing in the eyes of the international community”, the Senator questioned.
Questioning the lack of transparency from the Federal government’s side, Senator Rehman said, “The Federal government has announced emergency relief packages without consulting the Parliament. Why is the federal government not taking the parliament into confidence? Pakistan’s fiscal position is deteriorating at an alarming rate and Parliamentary oversight has become more imperative than ever”.
Commenting on Pakistan’s deteriorating economic condition, the Senator said that, “What is even more alarming is that Pakistan’s public debt has already soared to Rs 41 trillion – which is almost equivalent to 93% of our GDP. Before it’s too late, the Federal government urgently needs to revise its macro-economic policies”.
The Senator concluded by saying that, “The Federal government must take swift action as this is not the time for mixed messages and experimentation. We need to focus on building a national unity narrative. It is the federal government’s job to unify the country in these testing times but this is also being done by us”.