PML-N Shehbaz accuses government incompetence of Murree tragedy – Pakistan


ISLAMABAD; After a 10-day delay, the National Assembly (NA) session began on Monday but postponed discussion of the 2021 (additional) finance bill, commonly referred to as the mini-budget, to focus on the tragedy of Murree which has led to at least 22 tourists. lose their life.

The session, chaired by National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser, was supposed to address the (additional) finance bill, seen as a key condition for reviving the International Monetary Fund’s $ 6 billion extended facility (EFF). (IMF).

However, it was reported that the session’s agenda was changed to discuss the Murree incident, while the finance bill would be discussed on Tuesday.

Opposition leader in the National Assembly, Shehbaz Sharif, lambasted the government for the Murree tragedy, saying the incident was the result of government incompetence and administrative negligence.

“The government only knows one thing, and that is to engage in a policy of vindictiveness,” he said.

“Have they issued a red alert or made preparations for a larger influx of people? “

Responding to Shehbaz’s comments, Federal Minister of Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry said Prime Minister Imran Khan had taken groundbreaking action on the issue of climate change and tourism in Pakistan.

“It is shameful that the opposition sees the tragedy as yet another opportunity. This only reflects their narrow vision and political expediency. I want to remind the Leader of the Opposition that when he was Chief Minister, every day there was an incident, “he said. Fawad.

Meanwhile, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said the Information Minister was celebrating the fact that thousands of people had reached Murree, but when he found out that a tragedy had happened, he began to blame the victims.

“This government has only blamed the victims,” ​​he said. “We demand a judicial inquiry to find out the truth. The mere formation of a committee will do nothing because the government wants to hide the facts.”

Blaming the government for inflation and economic mismanagement, Bilawal said the “Naya Pakistan” promise was not kept. “The new Pakistan has become a dear Pakistan.”

Prerequisites for SBP Amendments and (Additional) Financing Bills for IMF Loan

The NA session was due to discuss the two bills the government is seeking to pass before the IMF’s board meeting.

Last week, the IMF removed Pakistan’s agenda from the Board’s calendar shortly after announcing the sixth review of the $ 6 billion Extended Financing Facility (EFF) at its meeting scheduled for the 12th. January.

When contacted, Ministry of Finance spokesman Muzzammil Aslam told Business Recorder that January 12, 2022 had previously been given as a tentative date for the Fund’s board meeting on Pakistan.

However, the board will meet once the country has fulfilled the preconditions, including the passage of the two bills.

On Monday, Pakistan’s finance ministry confirmed that the IMF had accepted its request to reschedule the sixth review of the $ 6 billion Extended Financing Facility (EFF), after previously saying it would be held on January 12.

Aslam, in his capacity as spokesperson for the Ministry of Finance, said the Finance Division “has formally requested the IMF to postpone the meeting of the Executive Board for the approval of the 6th review until the end of January.” .

Completion of the review would provide SDR 750 million (approximately $ 1,059 million), bringing total EFF disbursements to approximately $ 3,027 million.

Previous NA sessions

On December 31, the approval of the 2021 (Supplementary) Finance Bill and the 2021 State Bank of Pakistan (Amendment) Bill was again postponed after the adjournment of the Assembly session. national (AN) for an indefinite period.

The session began under the chairmanship of Vice-President Qasim Suri. However, the session only lasted 12 minutes.

The session was adjourned a day after the opposition signaled a quorum in the House. Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin had deposited the invoices.

The joint opposition staged a protest against the mini-budget and the bill, claiming it was being dictated by the IMF.

Shortly after National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser raised the agenda, opposition parties opposed the extension of a number of ordinances, saying the constitution as well that a verdict of the Supreme Court of Pakistan categorically stated that an order lapsed – whether it lapses by a single day or more – cannot be extended.

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