n Interior minister says PTI-IMF deal demands ‘zero subsidy’ n ‘Wrong agreement’ with the Fund created problems for PML-N govt n Says people will witness
a visible positive change within next six months
FAISALABAD – Federal Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah on Sunday said that the incumbent government raised the petroleum prices due to the PTI government’s agreement with International Monetary Fund (IMF), and according to the agreement, the subsidy should be ‘zero’.
Addressing a function to distribute checks among the beneficiaries of the Labour Department in Faisalabad, Rana Sanaullah said that the issue of bad governance would now be eliminated; adding that the common man was facing hardships in inflation but the coalition government will hold the inflation.
He maintained that the global money-lender was “adamant that subsidies should be reduced to zero,” if Pakistan were to revive the $6 billion bailout programme.
While explaining the current petroleum prices hike, Rana Sana said that the coalition government protected the country from bankruptcy, and “we had to raise the price of petrol to reduce the subsidy.
“There was a danger for the country going bankrupt if we decided to go for elections,” he added. About the new army chief appointment, the minister said that the appointment of the army chief will be held on time and as per the prescribed procedure.
Rebuking the PTI government, he said that the IMF agreement was signed by former finance minister Shaukat Tarin and they took the wrong decisions intentionally to trap the government, adding that only revenge was taken by Imran Khan. According to the PTI agreement with IMF, there should be zero subsidies, he said.
While addressing another ceremony of cheques distribution for welfare grants, talent scholarships, and marriage grants among workers in the auditorium of Faisalabad Medical University, the minister said agreements inked by the PTI government had become a major problem for the government as it had to honour these agreements to revive the IMF program and save Pakistan from default.
Rana Sanaullah put the onus of inflation on the bad governance of the previous government and said that it failed to take appropriate measures to facilitate the masses.
However, he was optimistic that the present government was committed to controlling inflation and people would witness a visible positive change in their life just within next six months.
He said that PML-N had credit to control load-shedding and terrorism and the issue of inflation was very easy for it to handle through its skilled and visionary leadership.
“We are not responsible for the inflation. It is only due to incompetence of previous government who first inked the agreement and then violated it which irritated the donors and they withheld the sanctioned amount”, he added.
He said that inflation was directly linked with increase in the prices of petroleum products.
“We decided to increase prices of petroleum products with heavy heart as there was no other option for us because the previous government had made a clear commitment with IMF to increase the prices”, he said.
Responding to a question, he said that Imran Khan himself was a big looter but he was fingering towards others.
“We would not victimise him but he must be punished for what he had done against the state and people of Pakistan”, he said and added that all this process would be completed in a most transparent manner so that no one could term it victimisation.
“Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has full confidence of allies and all our partners are happy and comfortable with Shehbaz Sharif”, he said and added that this government would complete its tenure and the elections would be held in time.
The interior minister, while criticising the PTI chairman, said that “whoever had bestowed him with the titles of ‘honest and trustworthy’ is now hiding their faces from the public”.
“Imran had called Pervez Elahi the ‘biggest dacoit of Punjab’. But now, he is the same person who is trying hard to make the ‘biggest dacoit’ the chief minister of the province,” he said.
He also referred to the alleged, leaked audio of former first lady Bushra Bibi — in which she could be heard instructing PTI’s Dr Arsalan Khalid to run traitor trends on social media — and said that “everything has become clear after the audio of Khan’s wife surfaced”.
“Their deeds are coming to light, everything has become clear. To him, even those who had allied with his government are decoits. He made the whole nation poor and destitute,” the minister said, adding that, unlike Khan, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif was “leading his allies through consensus.”
Sanaullah, while shedding light on PTI’s jalsa in Islamabad on July 2, said that 8,000 seats were set up at the Parade Ground, and people were brought in from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. “There were only 2,000 attendees from Islamabad”.