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Relief to tame inflation in the offing: Asif | The Express Tribune



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Defence Minister Khawaja Asif on Tuesday said the federal government has prepared a relief package to tame the rising inflation and expressed confidence that the soaring prices would gradually come down.

Talking to media outside the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), the minister said providing relief to the masses and bringing down the prices of essentials was the federal government’s “number one priority”.

Asif recalled that the government, a few days back, had reduced the prices of petroleum products and electricity for benefit of the common man.

The confirmation of a relief package in the offing came days after sources told The Express Tribune that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has directed his administration to hammer out a special package to help households cope with biting inflation.

Blaming the previous government as the culprit of the ongoing inflationary trend, the prime minister had reportedly also given directions to prepare a special package for the youth.

However, analysts have pointed out that the relief package at a time when the country was being buffeted by economic woes and a looming default risk is threatening to worsen the matters, a relief package could backfire and might even prove to be a counterproductive decision.

While it may serve to cushion the inflationary shock, it would be counterintuitive to open the purse as IMF talks face delay, they said.

Commenting on the current political situation, Khawaja Asif said that the result of the no-confidence motion against the Punjab chief minister, speaker and deputy would come in the next two-three days.

He said the last card to dissolve the provincial assemblies played by PTI chief Imran Khan had also not worked, “rather every day a new thing was revealed about his [Imran Khan] Toshakhana gifts case”.

He regretted that people like PTI leaders ascended to power and occupied high positions during the last tenure.

“With the grace of Allah Almighty the no-confidence motion moved by the PDM against the elements, who come into power by committing corruption, would succeed,” he asserted.

Referring to Imran’s criticism of former army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa, the defence minister said that the former premier has turned against those who were kind enough to bring him into power. “If you have failed to deliver, it is your mistake, not the others” he added.

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