ISLAMABAD - Though the MNAs jointly fixed Tuesday to debate on ‘inflation and economic situation’ in the national assembly,  but it mainly presented a picture of match of point-scoring, allegations, threats, exchange of harsh words and sloganeering between government and opposition. Amid speeches on country’s economic situation, the house from the start to the last speech saw rumpus and unending verbal brawls. The chair has to expunge ‘unparliamentary’ words of speakers from both sides.

Initiating the debate, PML-N’s parliamentary leader Khawaja Muhammad Asif in his own fashion came down hard on government for allegedly not fulfilling its tall claims. “We will not become part of any conspiracy to topple the government but wait, as this government will not survive due its bad governance including inflation and corruption,” said PML’s leader, mentioning that government has beneficiaries of both flour of sugar crisis in its ranks.

Opposition MNA, facing severe interruption from backbenchers, said his party would never be interested to come in the parliament through any conspiracy or any unconstitutional way.  “Incumbent government is its own enemy, as Opposition needs not to take any measure against it,” he said. Asif blamed PTI’s MNAs including Prime Minister Imran Khan for taking salaries of 126 days when it was staging sit-in in 2014.

Match of point-scoring

He said that inflation has touched its peak only in 18 months. “The price of sugar is Rs 90 per kilogram and prices of other food items are unbearable for poor people in the country,” he said, PTI’s government in its tenure has reduced the size of economy from 230 billion dollars to 189 billion dollars, bank default increasing from 654 billion dollars to 774 billion dollars. He further said that Pakistan would also have to pay 15 per cent interest on hot money of 2,2 billion to 2.5 billion dollars. He said the borrowing rate around the world is not more than four per cent questioning, who is earning from bills of the State Bank in this way.  “The stock market suffered a loss of Rs 143 billion only in one day since last months and the stock market had fallen down by Rs 690 billion,” he said.

Asif also regretted that the residence of former Finance Minister Ishaq Dar had been converted into shelter.  whereas the Government itself was providing shelter to the mafia and thieves of flour and sugar.

Without taking name of anyone behind sugar crisis, he said that FIA also conducted a report to the government on sugar crisis, which named with the government or those who have been financial backers of this government. “The names of those are also being taken who brought current government to power,” he said. PPP-P’s Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, on his turn, mainly targeted Prime Minister Imran Khan on his claims and promises with the masses on different matters including economic situation. He said that “Prime Minister Imran Khan should accept incompetence, incapability to run the affairs,”. Without naming anyone, Bilawal said he would not name the person who helped him to come to the power.

He criticised government for allegedly sabotaging the BISP initiated by former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. “Why the government is changing the name of this programme...It shows how Imran Khan is,” he said, facing sloganeering and harsh remarks from Opposition. PPP-P’s chairman also asked the chair not to defend Prime Minister as it was not his job.

Bilawal asked the government to provide relief to masses of quit the government immediately. “It was Imran Khan who commented to prefer committing suicide to getting loans but now this government is getting loans,” he said.

He said that the government had sunk the economy of the country as inflation, unemployment, poverty, bad governance on its peak only one year. “This [PTI] government has turned the flagging economy into sinking… unemployment and poverty are on their optimum levels due to which the common people are suffering badly,”he said.

About empty front rows of Treasury benches, he also mocked MNAs of the PTI, calling them “junior ministers”. “Only junior Ministers are attending the National Assembly sessions, which shows non-serious attitude of government,” he said .

Minister for Communication Murad Saeed, responding to the PPP-P’s chairman speech said that PTI’s Prime Minister was not accidental Chairman like Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. “Bilawal became Chairman of the party only on the ‘last wish’ of his mother,” he said, PPP-P should go after dogs of Larkana as incident of dog biting increasing.

“I have a suggestion for Bilawal to stay in house and hear speeches of others,” he said, facing harsh criticism from opposition. “I will prefer to respond son Zardari (Bilawal) in the same language which he deserves,” he said in a fit of pique. He further said that Bilawal should return his fees which, was deposited in the Oxford University. PPP-P MNA Abdul Qadar Patel , on his turn, strongly criticized government for failing to run the affairs of the government including economic situation.