Saturday Dec 04, 2021
ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar on Saturday addressed allegations from the Opposition regarding soaring inflation and unemployment, saying that it is"not right to politicise inflation".
The video statement by Azhar was released after PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif announced that the final decision regarding the long march against the government will be taken during the meeting of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) on December 6.
Labelling Shahbaz's take on the economy "wrong", Azhar said that the Opposition leader was incorrect regarding the economy earlier and his views are "still wrong".
"The incumbent government has saved the economy by doing away with the policies practised during PML-N's tenure," he said, adding that if those policies from 2018 would have been carried forward, the country would have been "on the brink of a disaster" by October-November 2018 as Pakistan would have been a defaulter.
The minister said that inflation in the country is soaring due to rising global prices and not because of the policies adopted by the government.
"As soon as prices will reduce in the international markets, inflation in Pakistan will spiral downwards," he reiterated.
It is pertinent to mention here that November saw a double-digit increase in prices of consumer items as inflation edged up to 11.5% from 9.2% in October, according to data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics.
Citing a World Bank report, the minister said that poverty has decreased in Pakistan.
Pakistan's economy is projected to grow at a rate of 5%, he said, adding that when a country is expected to grow at rate of 5% it shows that unemployment is in the country is "reducing".
Earlier in the day, Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif had addressed a press conference on the economic situation of Pakistan, saying that the date for the Opposition's long march against inflation and unemployment will be finalised soon.
He said that a final decision in this regard will be taken during a meeting of the Pakistan Democratic Movement on December 6.
Shahbaz said that the Opposition is geared to give the incumbent government a hard time as "Pakistan and PTI cannot continue alongside each other any longer".
Speaking about the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM), the PML-N leader said: "The government's ill-intent on EVMs is plain for all to see."
"It was an important issue, the government should have taken the Parliament into confidence and should have consulted the Opposition," he said.
He added that the government wants to "use the votes of overseas Pakistanis through rigging".
Recalling his earlier statement regarding the economy, he said that he had already predicted that a mini-budget will be unveiled.
"If PML-N would have been in power the Diamer Bhasha dam would have been under construction," he said.