ISLAMABAD                   -                  Pakistan People’s Party Vice President Senator Sherry Rehman yesterday said that the government was misleading the nation on the coronavirus.

The lawmaker, who is PPP Parliamentary Leader in Senate, questioned the Federal government for spreading misinformation and not applying for the

G-20 debt relief programme.

She asked: “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.”

She added: “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 G-20 countries for payment relaxation”

Pakistan, she said, 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.”

Sherry Rehman said when no official request was made to the G-20 nations for debt relief, then why was 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 said.

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 [arliament 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 pc of our GDP. Before it’s too late, the Federal government urgently needs to revise its macro-economic policies”.