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Umar Ayub slams budget as ‘economic terrorism’ against Pakistan

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader and Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Umar Ayub on Thursday vehemently criticized the government’s budget, labeling it as “economic terrorism” against the people and future of Pakistan.

Speaking during the heated session of the National Assembly chaired by Speaker Ayaz Sadiq, he accused the government of robbing the Pakistani populace through its financial policies, describing the budget as a scheme devised by economic hitmen to undermine the country’s stability.

Addressing Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb, Ayub acknowledged his personal respect but criticized the consequences of the budget, which he likened to a betrayal by close associates who have metaphorically “slaughtered the nation.”

The opposition leader emphasized that the budget would shake the foundations of Pakistan’s economy and highlighted the challenges faced in attracting investments due to prevailing lawlessness.

He also invoked historical contexts, mentioning the founder of PTI and his contributions during challenging economic times, contrasting it with the current government’s approach.

Furthermore, Ayub blamed the government for derailing the economy, referencing what he called the “London plan” as a contributing factor to the current economic woes. He highlighted the importance of restoring law and order to attract investments.

He underscored the need for effective governance to restore economic stability and criticised the priorities of government officials, referring to recent incidents involving social media distractions during official visits.

The opposition leader accused the government of manipulating facts and mismanaging the country’s economy. He criticized the administration for its alleged fabrication of economic figures, asserting that under the founding PTI government, Pakistan witnessed a 6 percent growth rate with significant industrial development.

Ayub blamed the current government’s policies for allegedly sabotaging this progress, citing negative development budgets, rising unemployment, and inflation spikes.

During his address, Ayub highlighted a substantial increase in loans and a decline in foreign exchange reserves from July 2023 to March 2024. He also criticized the previous administration’s decision to procure wheat worth Rs 450 billion, describing it as ill-considered. Ayub slammed the Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) allocation of Rs 1.4 trillion as mere smoke and mirrors, accusing the government of misleading the public about its development efforts.

The session saw passionate exchanges as Ayub called for accountability and strategic reforms to salvage the country’s economic prospects, concluding with pointed remarks about the government’s perceived shortcomings and the urgent need for corrective measures.

Referring to the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, the PTI leader criticized the Deputy Mayor’s TikTok video during the visit, contrasting it with the perceived lack of seriousness in addressing Pakistan’s economic challenges.

He lamented the state of lawlessness impacting investment and argued for decisive action to salvage the economy.

Source: SAMAA