Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, a former prime minister and senior vice president of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), stated on Friday that the legislation ruling the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) would be changed because no country would give up its economic autonomy for Rs 6 billion.
His contention was that the 13th of January was one of the darkest days in the history of Pakistan and the parliament because more than Rs 700 billion in taxes were imposed on the country in violation of parliamentary rules, conventions, and traditions and that Speaker of the National Assembly Asad Qaiser trampled on all parliamentary rules, conventions, and traditions on the orders of Prime Minister Imran Khan Niazi and his cabinet. Consequently, the representatives of the people were prevented from even considering, let alone voting on, the Rs 700 billion in taxation imposed on them.
The former Prime Minister claimed that the imposition of Rs 700 taxes on the people, in addition to the budget, was an unprecedented move in the country’s history since 1973 and that Parliament was not even allowed to put a word about it, let alone discuss this horrible legislation. These bills were pushed through in the middle of the night, but the government had no explanation for why.
Furthermore, the most risky law was enacted, handing over control of Pakistan’s entire economy to a foreign organisation. He added that bill was also uploaded around 11:00 p.m., with no debate or vote.
He claimed that the Speaker was requested several times to enable debate on the issue, but he refused. In private conversations, ministers in this government claim that they were powerless to stop the IMF from passing this bill. He went on to say that if they were so powerless, they should have at least allowed the opposition to debate the issue in Parliament.
“Everyone, including the IMF,” Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said, “must know that these bills will be reversed because no country gives up its economic sovereignty for $ 6 billion.”
“This PTI government strengthened the economy by bringing in $200 billion, of which $100 billion was to be thrown in the face of the IMF, but the IMF is hitting PTI in the face with $6 billion, which they refused to deliver.” Is there anyone in this PTI government who can explain this inconsistency?” he said.
He predicted that the tsunami of inflation that would follow the imposition of these Rs 700 billion in new taxes would destroy Pakistan’s already burdened population. He claimed that the administration was solely concerned about the IMF’s wishes and had no grasp of how this would affect the people. Pakistan was the world’s fourth most costly country at the time, but this bill would push it to number one, and the PTI government will trumpet it as a success, he said.