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June 14, 2019

PTI to add Rs10tr to debt in next two years: Abbasi

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June 14, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has strongly criticised the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) budget, claiming Pakistan’s debts would rise by at least 10 trillion rupees in the next two years under the Imran Khan-led government, Geo News reported.

Addressing a news conference here on Thursday, Abbasi said there would be no new development project in the next few years. He predicted business in the country would become sluggish and unemployment would shoot up, adding the new taxes would translate to some 20,000-30,000 people becoming jobless.

“The growth, on the other hand, will become less than half of the current rate,” he claimed. “We have demonstrated to the public what Nawaz Sharif’s Rs10 trillion translated into. What Imran Khan’s Rs10 trillion will do is for the people to see as well,” Abbasi said.

Some “Rs5 trillion was paid in interest and another Rs3.8 trillion in defence”, he added. Abbasi then took another jibe at the Prime Minister, saying had Khan asked for guidance, he would not have had to come on national television at midnight.

He was referring to Khan’s late-night television address following the budget session in which he announced a high-powered commission to investigate why debts swelled from 6,000 billion rupees to 24,000 billion rupees over the past two governments.

He added: “The Prime Minister [said he would] carry out accountability and not let anyone go; he repeatedly waved his hands round and round and stressed over and over again to say he had no links with the NAB [National Accountability Bureau].”

He mentioned that he had released 20-year tax returns on the website but challenged Khan and his ministers to do the same. “If Imran Khan has the guts and is not a coward, he should publish his tax returns on the website and everything would become transparent. Imran Khan leads the government but doesn’t seem to be aware of that fact,” he remarked.

The PML-N leader commented on how 10 months have passed since the 2018 elections but neither Khan nor his ministers sent any proof of corruption to the NAB or the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).

“Ministries, agencies, departments… Imran Khan has them all now but in the past five years, did he send proof of even a rupee’s worth of corruption to any department? I challenge any minister [of the incumbent government] to come forward and say Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was the petroleum minister and he did some sort of corruption; if they have the guts, they should do it!”

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