LAHORE: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is consistently lying to the people of the country and trying to convince them that they are the real founders of Pakistan, a senior Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) leader said.
Addressing a press conference, PML-N secretary-general Ahsan Iqbal said that Shaukat Tarin must read his party’s Vision 2025 and learn how it is done.
Iqbal slammed the finance minister for his blatant lie that Pakistan had been governed without any planning for the last 74 years. The PML-N always focused on a long-term plan for the country.
This, he said, was the party that introduced the idea of Vision 2010 in 1997, which clearly pointed out that Pakistan will face acute energy shortage if new power plants are not installed. But unfortunately Musharraf toppled their government and plunged the country into darkness.
But, he said when the PML-N set out to make Pakistan one of the 25 fastest growing economies of the world in 2013 many laughed at it, saying how would that be possible with 13 hours/day power outages. Over the past 68 years, Pakistan installed only 18,000MW, but the PML-N installed an additional 11,000MW capacity in its five-year tenure.
Similarly, many were of the view that the PML-N had brought the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) but this country won’t be able to match the speed of development as that of China and this project won’t take off. But the PML-N silenced its critics by completing projects worth $29 billion in just four years.
And the international financial institutions such as PricewaterhouseCoopers said if Pakistan continued on its trajectory, it would be in the top 20 economies by 2030, which was an endorsement of the PML-N’s Vision 2025, he said.
This selected incompetent government, which was imposed as a part of a conspiracy to sabotage Pakistan’s economic growth and CPEC, crashed that growth momentum. It is not just the PML-N, the existing finance minister had said this four months ago that the decision of devaluing the rupee by over 30 per cent and increasing the key policy rate to 14 per cent crashed the national economy.
The former planning minister said, “Not just this, [the] PML-N also met its short-term planning and medium-term planning goals. It sets out a target of Rs3 trillion public sector development programme in over five years and overshot that by Rs200 billion. The party built 2,000km of motorways, doubled investment in the energy sector. But this government could not even operationalise the projects PML-N had already planned out and were ready to go, including the CPEC ML1 project, Karachi Quetta and Peshawar Circular Railways.
Tarin had said that the Planning Commission was eliminated, whereas it was the Planning Commission, which made Vision 2025 and other plans and not through its scrutiny, saved the nation over Rs700 billion.
“I challenge Shaukat Tarin to bring a better plan than the Vision 2025 by [the] Planning Commission under PML-N. We did not just make the best plan with the consensus and efforts of over 1,000 individuals but had everyone onboard, including [the] PPP government in Sindh, PTI government in KP and Dr Malik’s government in Balochistan. We did not only plan it all but executed it to completion. Mr Tarin must visit the website of the Planning Commission and learn how it is done! Because the truth is that [the] PTI government has zero planning to run the state on a day-to-day basis, which was catastrophic for the country.”
Ahsan Iqbal also lashed out at Tarin’s statement that the PML-N installed needless additional electricity and the government had to make capacity payments. This capacity was installed according to a growth rate projection of 6 per cent, and because the PTI crashed growth down to 2 per cent, it believes the capacity is excessive, Iqbal added.
“This excessive capacity is not an indicator of [the] PMLN’s bad planning, it is the proof of PTI’s failure to even maintain the country’s growth rate by crashing demand,” he said.
The PML-N secretary-general said this government shrank the volume of the country’s economy by almost $100 billion by its devaluation and zero planning.
He challenged Prime Minister Imran Khan and his Cabinet to prove their allegations of corruption on him and demanded that the inquiry reports, in this regard, should be given to him.
Iqbal slammed the PTI government and Imran Khan, saying they knew nothing other than vengeance and corruption, which had destroyed the country and its governance machinery.