Thousands express no confidence in government’s economic policies in PAT Economic Survey

A countrywide economic survey was conducted under the aegis of the PAT media cell on the topic of “is national economy getting better?” The survey, which was completed in a week’s time, polled opinions of record 24,000 people both inside and outside of Pakistan. The heads of political parties, senior politicians, civil society leaders and opinion makers took part in the survey and dubbed the PML-N’s economic policies as being destructive towards the farmers, industrial workers and more than 50% of population living below the poverty line.

Majlis-e-Wahdat-ul-Muslimeen leader Allama Raja Nasir Abbas, Sunni Ittehad Council Chairman Sahibzada Hamid Raza, PAT Secretary General Khurram Nawaz Gandapur, MQM senior leader Syed Amin-ul-Haq, Azad Jammu & Kashmir Muslim Conference President and former PM Sardar Ateeq-ur-Rehman, PTI leader Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar, PPP Punjab President Mian Manzoor Ahmad Wattoo, JI senior leader Farid Ahmad Paracha, Opposition leader in Punjab Assembly Mian Mahmood-ur-Rasheed, PML-Q leader Chaudhry Zaheer-ud-Din Ahmad, and All-Pakistan Muslim League leader Ahmad Raza Kasuri expressed their opinions on the topic in the survey.

Allama Raja Nasir Abbas said that the PML-N government does not have the policy of its own. He said that foreign donors dictate policies to the government after every three months and as a result the country is going back instead of going forward.

Felicitating the PAT on conducting a survey on this important issue, Sahibzada Hamid Raza said that it would be better to describe this economic survey as all-parties conference on the economy. He said that there is a need of one more long march and the sit-in against the economic policies of the PML-N government. He said that no other government took as many loans during the last 60 years as the present government has, which claims to have the services of the so-called experts.

PTI leader Chaudhry Sarwar said that it is not possible to resurrect the national economy and make it stand on its own feet by meting out shabby treatment to agriculture sector and the farming community. Dr Farid Paracha said that as long as the country’s economy runs on interest, it is impossible for it to break the strait jacket and progress.

Sardar Ateeq-ur-Rehman expressed his utter dissatisfaction with the economic performance of the government for last two and half years and said that the country is going down the drain in economic terms due to flawed policies. He said that the entire amount of revenue collected throughout the country is hardly enough to service the foreign debt and interest on the loans.

PAT Secretary General Khurram Nawaz Gandapur said that Pakistan Economy Watch has recently warned that the economy of the country is on its way towards slow-down and destruction and that the facts and figures released by the Finance Ministry from time to time about the health of economy do not tell the real story. He said that the economic policies of the PML-N government are forcing the highly educated youth either to commit suicide or leave the country causing a massive brain drain in the process.

MQM senior leader Syed Amin-ul-Haq said that some improvement being witnessed by the economy in recent times does not have anything to do with the economic policies of the government but is due to relief provided by massive reduction in the prices of the POL products worldwide.

Haji Adeel of ANP said that there are two kinds of economies in the country; one is the documented and the other is the undocumented economy where people go untaxed despite minting money. He said that black economy is progressing by leaps and bounds as is manifest from the way big palaces are coming up in Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore. He, however, added in the same breath that the projects which are supposed to provide relief to the people and give them employment are nowhere in sight with the result that the gap is widening between haves and have-nots.

Mian Mahmood-ur-Rasheed, Opposition leader in the Punjab Assembly, said in his remarks that the point on which the whole nation has a consensus is that the economic policies of the government are damaging the country. He said that the tags of ‘for sale’ have been put up on power distribution companies, hospitals and educational institutions.

PPP Punjab President Mian Manzoor Ahmad Wattoo said that the present rulers having background in businesses have been tested time and again but each time they have disappointed the nation. He said that whenever the PML-N government comes into power, it is the farming community, which is most adversely affected. He said that every segment of society is on roads adding what else is needed to measure the lack of people’s confidence in the PML-N’s economic management of the country.

Ahmad Raza Kasuri, Chief Coordinator of All-Pakistan Muslim League, said in his remarks that a country where corruption is so deep-rooted as to become institutionalized, which gets protected in the name of democracy is not expected to move forward on the ladder of economic progress. He said that pockets are being filled with commissions in the name of mega development projects.

PML-Q Punjab General Secretary Chaudhry Zaheer-ud-Din said that the country’s economy has been destroyed for all intents and purposes. He said that farmers are being destroyed. He said that they do not have money to educate their children and pay the cost of utilities. He said that the world economy is closely associated with agriculture and in case of the latter going down the drain; it would not be possible for global economy to remain unscathed.