Islamabad, May 22, 2020:
Questioning PTI government’s decision to allow diverting Rs10 billion from the coronavirus relief funds to pay interest on loans taken to retire circular debt , PPP Parliamentary Leader in Senate, Senator Sherry Rehman asked, “Has the government managed to curb the spread of COVID-19 that we don’t need this money anymore and now it is being used to pay interest?”
“People were asked to donate their hard-earned money for this cause but now suddenly the government has decided to use it elsewhere. It is the government’s responsibility to pay off the interest and is not fair on people that their money is being misused like this. This is an extremely irresponsible decision and It is apparent that the federal leadership lacks seriousness and is not able to effectively deal with the existential crisis,” she added.
She questioned, “Why was the Parliament not involved in this decision? This money does not belong to any party and instead of helping the provinces fight this pandemic, this money is being used to pay off interest. What happened to the transparency which the ruling party is always talking about? Why were the provinces not taken in confidence? When the country needs to unify more than ever, the ruling party is doing everything to intensify political polarisation in the country.”
“It’s quite an outrage that money given for covid relief is being used up for plugging the governance holes in the growing circular debt. They have no policy or plan for managing or reducing that either,” she added.
Senator Rehman concluded by saying, “The scale, impact and effects of the coronavirus still gather momentum in Pakistan and we need to gather all our resources to fight this national emergency. Instead of creating unnecessary controversy by putting economy before public health, the government should focus on coming up with an effective policy”.