Friday Nov 05 2021
Web Desk

Country's current stock of sugar would only last 15 more days: Shahbaz Sharif

Web Desk

  • Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly criticises PM Imran Khan for announcing relief package in his recent speech.
  • Says "PM has nothing better to do than rendering lip services through his speeches."
  • Says "relief and PTI are two contradictory things."

ISLAMABAD: Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif, while criticising Prime Minister Imran Khan, said that the country is undergoing a sugar crisis because the current stock of the sweetener would only last 15 more days.

"[Despite the crisis], the PM has nothing better to do than rendering lip services through his speeches," Shahbaz said referring to the premier's address to the nation a day ago.

He said that the price of sugar increased by Rs5 per kilogram, taking the rate in the wholesale market beyond Rs130 per kg.

"Relief and PTI are two contradictory things," said Shahbaz as he rejected PM Imran Khan's relief package.

Meanwhile, PPP leader Saeed Ghani said that sugar prices are incessantly increasing while petrol prices have increased for the fourth time in a given period. 

Opposition calls govt's relief package 'a joke, acceptance of failure'

Shortly after Prime Minister announced a Rs120-billion subsidy package for 20 million most-vulnerable families of Pakistan on Wednesday, Opposition leaders had criticised the move and had called it an "acceptance of the government's failure" and "nothing but a joke".

Taking to Twitter, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari had said that the PM's package is "too little for 200 million people."

"PM's package is nothing but a joke. PM claims few families will benefit from a 30% discount for only 6 months on ghee, flour & lentils. In 3 yrs, ghee increased [by] 108%, flour 50% & gas 300%," he wrote. "30% is too little, too late for 200 million ppl facing historic inflation, poverty & unemployment."

Following suit, former senator and PPP leader Sherry Rehman had termed PM Imran Khan’s address to the nation a “bizarre speech”, and called the premier the “Blame Minister of Pakistan”.

Taking to Twitter, Rehman criticised the prime minister and said that she chose the name "blame minister" for him as he has been shifting blames on the former governments and international markets for the rise in inflation and prices of oil, gas, and other essential items.

She said that global oil prices were higher during the PPP’s tenure but local petrol prices were “half” as compared to the current petrol prices.

“Bizarre speech by the Blame Minister of Pakistan. Says all the unprecedented inflation, tsunami of oil, gas prices, essentials is becoz [sic] of the past govts & international markets. PPP faced higher global oil prices over 130 $ per barrel but local petrol was half of today prices,” wrote Rehman.

Meanwhile, PML-N leader and former Sindh governor Muhammad Zubair said that offering subsidies on the products is the “acceptance of the failure” that the government couldn’t control the prices.

Zubair, in a conversation with said that it seemed like it is August 2018 when PM Imran Khan has just taken office and he was making announcements for the implementation of the plan put forward by him regarding the economy.

He said that there is only one justification and the reason behind the inflation in Pakistan and that is the government’s “incompetence, unprofessionalism, and lack of capacity to deliver”.

Referring to PM Imran Khan’s comparison of Pakistan with India over the petrol prices, Zubair said that the PM should have taken into account the difference of income per capita.

PM announces Rs120bn subsidy package for 20m most vulnerable families

Addressing the nation, the premier said that considering that the masses are undergoing a tough time due to the inflation in the country, the government is introducing a package for 20 million families, which will — in turn — benefit 130 million Pakistanis.

The premier said that under the package, interest-free loans of up to Rs500,000 will be provided to city-dwellers to start businesses, while a similar amount of loan will also be provided to farmers.

The prime minister further added that the government has asked the construction sector to increase the salaries of workers, while a health-insurance programme will be introduced in Punjab from December.

"Under the package, four million families will be able to build houses without interest," the PM said, adding that Rs1,400 billion have been set aside for the Kamyab Pakistan Programme (KPP) 2021 with the aim to provide opportunities to the deserving and uplift 3.7 million households across the country.