ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PLMN) MNA Qaiser Sheikh on Friday criticised Federal Minister for Finance Miftah Ismail and said that he has failed to address severe challenges on the economic front. He warned the country was heading towards a complete crisis-like situation and there were fears of eruption of civil war in the country.
“Pakistan’s rupee has been traded at Rs207.53 on three-month basis, Rs221.56 on a six-month basis and Rs234.08 on a nine-month basis against the US dollar in the international market projections. There has been no focus towards this looming crisis,” an infuriated PMLN MNA, Qaiser Ahmed Sheikh, said while addressing a news conference.
He said the exchange rate continued to depreciate and now stood at Rs193.50 against the US dollar, stating that the developing countries were provided foreign loans in order to make them dependent and to be controlled.
He said he had delivered a speech in the National Assembly but there was no focus of anyone to hold serious debate and find out the solution to the emerging crisis-like situation. He said he was not criticising the incumbent PMLN-led regime, because he believed that the Sharif brothers could deliver on the economic front.
He openly criticised incumbent Finance Minister Miftah Ismail, saying he expressed the same views during his meeting with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif. He said he would be opposing the un-elected finance minister like he opposed Shaukat Tarin, when he was made the finance minister. He said Miftah Ismail was defeated by Qadir Khan Mandokhel, adding that an un-elected man was made the finance minister.
The PMLN MNA said he was elected as an independent MNA from Chiniot in 1997, when the PMLN had secured heavy mandate and continued his status as an independent group in the National Assembly, adding that afterwards, he was offered by the PMLN in 2013 and he joined the party. He said he had decided to join politics to deliver some good for the countrymen and business community, adding that he was of the view that he had earned money and wanted to pay back. He raised a question that why the elected MNAs were not made finance minister, adding that he was not talking about himself but there were many others, who could be considered for this top position. There would be no reason that the government could not find a finance minister from the National Assembly in the last 30 years except for a brief period of Syed Naveed Qamar. He said there would be reasons to ascertain that why everyone in the region had gone far ahead on the economic front, adding that India lured $41 billion foreign direct investment but Pakistan could fetch only $1.5 billion. He proposed the government should increase direct tax burden on the rich and affluent segments in the next budget.
To a query, he said that the elections would provide no solution, because this lingering crisis might worsen, if the party facing defeat refused to accept the results. The only solution, according to him, would be signing the ‘Charter of Economy’, otherwise default is knocking on our doors.