Islamabad, AUG 28 /DNA/ – Slamming the PTI led government for rising inflation, PPP Parliamentary Leader in the Senate, Senator Sherry Rehman said, “On one hand the government is painting a rosy picture of its performance, and on the other hand we have figures from the World Bank which state that during May 2020 to May 2021, food prices have been increased by 14.8% in Pakistan. It comes as no surprise that around 68% of our population is unable to afford a healthy diet”.

“It is shocking that food inflation has doubled in the past 3 years. From 5.5% in 2018, it rose to 10.48% in 2021. Whereas our inflation rate is currently averaging at almost 11% which is higher than both India and Bangladesh. It is shocking that our economic growth rate has decreased by 29.3%,” she added.

Rehman said, “The unemployment rate has jumped from 6.2 % to 15 %. In 2020, over 20 lac people were unemployed which is almost a quarter of the 1 crore jobs that PTI had promised. The income earned by over 6.7 million Pakistanis has declined in the last two years. Poverty has increased to 40% and over 20 lac people have fallen below the poverty line”.

“In the last 3 years, our public debt has increased to Rs 38.006 trillion. This is an increase of 52.3% which is double of what PPP took and more than half of PMLN’s share. While PTI was busy celebrating over not taking a loan from the State Bank in a year, the circular debt doubled to Rs 2.28 trillion,” she added.

Addressing the rising Current Account Deficit (CAD), Rehman said, “The current account is back in deficit while Foreign Direct Investment have dipped by 39%. So, why was PTI government celebrating a surplus in both? CAD showed a surplus due to historical dip in international prices amid global COVID-19 crisis while the FDI improved only due to China’s investment in CPEC projects”.

“In the last 3 years, PTI government hid key debt statistics, and presented dubious GDP statistics to hide incompetence. Our food inflation is highest in the region, and the unemployment rate has jumped from 6% to 15%. Wheat, sugar and oil crisis has caused losses worth billions. Pakistan’s economy is on the ventilator so what exactly has the government done which is worth celebrating?” she questioned.

Vice President PPPP, Senator Sherry Rehman concluded by saying, “The reality is far different from what the government is telling us. With all the key macroeconomic indicators faring poorly in the face of the three years of PTI governance, it is shocking to see the self-congratulatory media appearances while millions in Pakistan are suffering from poverty, food insecurity and unemployment. Unfortunately, the future does not look too bright with the unapologetic increase in public debt and current account deficit, Pakistan is going to struggle on the global scale”.