Parliamentarians Urge Govt to Take Tough Decisions As Default Risk Still Looms

Member of National Assembly Qaiser Ahmad Shiekh on Thursday requested the finance team of the government to make tough decisions to avert the financial default of the nation.

Qaiser Ahmed Shiekh, who is also the Chairman of the NA Committee on Finance and Revenue, in a press conference along with Ali Musa Gilani and Dr Ramesh Vankwani, expressed concerns over the economic situation of Pakistan and called upon the finance managers of the country to make tough decisions to avert financial default of the nation.

The NA panel chairman said that the country was already under an economic emergency and called upon the finance minister Ishaq Dar to take all political parties into confidence over economic decisions – before it was too late.

The MNAs called for cutting state expenditures but declined to comment on the reduction in the defense budget for some time. However, Sheikh said that the defense expenditures of Pakistan were already low compared to the growing trend by India.

He recalled that in May 2022 he had announced that the economy was in shape and the then finance minister Miftah Ismail had to make a collective effort to avoid the situation from getting worse.

“Now Dar sahib should do it before people, including businessmen and industrialists, join any lawless campaign against the government,” Sheikh said. He said that due to the growing negative sentiments the whole economic circle has started to move in the reverse direction, as people have started to send their remittances through “hundi hawala” and many exporters are not even bringing their profits back home.

Gilani expressed dismay that no one was interested in giving due consideration to the national interest. “We are all political people, but we make decisions for our benefit but cause loss to the nation,” he said adding that “it is an Economic Emergency now that the country is facing”.

Dr Vankwani said, “It is wrong to say that things are OK, it is wrong to deceive the public and it is wrong to deceive oneself. It was time that Zardari needed to come out and meet everybody – the governor state bank was misleading the whole nation, everybody is directionless and most unfortunately Dar does not even come to the parliamentary committees, how can anybody extend help in this regard”.

Dr Vankwani added that the most serious aspect of current crises was that it seems like everybody and all institutions were all confused and focused on issues, without any solution. “If we remained like this we will end up like Sri Lanka sooner or later. At the same time do not consider anything negative out of my words – I am a Pakistani and live here – but the fact is neither West nor East want to destabilise us – but it is all our fault and we are continuing it, by allowing import of luxury cars and not opening LCs for food and medicines”.

To ease the matter, Gilani added that he had complete faith and respected the reliance of the Pakistani nation and expressed confidence that Pakistan will not default.

While Sheikh said that Pakistan was steered out of a similar crisis in 1998, they will do it now however taking the Parliament into confidence for some tough decisions was essential.