Pakistan: Information Minister acknowledges government's failure in addressing woes of middle class

PTI Islamabad, Pakistan Feb 09, 2019, 02.06 PM(IST)

File photo Pakistan's Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

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'Our biggest regret is that we cannot provide immediate relief to the middle class that voted for us', said Pakistan's Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry.

Pakistan's Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry Friday acknowledged his government's failure in reducing the economic burden on the country's middle class.

Addressing an event here, Chaudhry said that Prime Minister Imran Khan was aware of the role the country's middle class played in propelling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf to power in last year's general elections.

"Our biggest regret is that we cannot provide immediate relief to the middle class that voted for us. Taxes are levied on the salaried class, and gas and electricity rates have increased for them," he said.

The minister said that the government succeeded to shield the poorest segments from the financial burden but it could not do so in case of the middle class due to lack of money.

He blamed the economic woes, which the current government inherited, for the failure to live up to the expectation of the people during the first six months.

"Our total income is approximately Rs 5.5 trillion, of which Rs 2 trillion goes to debt servicing, Rs 1.7 trillion towards our defence budget, and then for every 10 rupees, six go to the provinces," Chaudhry said.

The minister said that the federal government starts the budget-making process from the deficit.

He said the interest was paid on loans taken by the previous two successive governments which shook the foundation of the country.

Chaudhry also defended the 126-day sit-in by Imran Khan in 2014, saying it laid the foundation of 'Naya (new) Pakistan'.

The minister also accused former prime minister Nawaz Sharif's government of misusing fund and spending too much on mega-projects like the Orange Line Rail project in Lahore which costs US $ 3 billion.