The opposition’s claim that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s relief package announced a day earlier was an attempt to woo voters ahead of the 2023 general elections was dismissed by Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Tuesday, insisting that the move was part of the government’s strategy to roll out relief measures for different segments in phases.
When asked about the opposition’s description of the prime minister’s package as a “election stunt,” Chaudhry made these statements during a press conference in Lahore today.
The premier startled his detractors on Monday when he offered a “relief package” for Pakistan’s inflation-stricken residents, lowering fuel and diesel prices by Rs10 per litre and electricity costs by Rs5 per unit, with the promise that they would not be raised until the next federal budget.
Chaudhry confirmed today, in response to a question from the media, that the assistance package will not be financed through a loan. “We simply tweaked our existing budget to make things easier for our middle class. Previously, we had provided targeted assistance to the poorest of the poor.”
The affluent will also contribute to the relief package, according to the minister, who also stated that the Finance Ministry will hold a news conference to outline financial modifications made to the current budget in order to bring relief to the public.
PPP’s march hasn’t deterred them.
When asked if the government is feeling the pressure from the PPP’s ongoing long march, Chaudhry suggested that Bilawal watch “films of past long marches organised by (late) Benazir Bhutto to learn how such rallies are managed.”
In three months, he warned, the actuality of such protests will be revealed. “By holding this march, we want them to get exhausted, and then we’ll make our next move,” he told journalists.
In response to a query about the PML-Chaudhry Q’s Shujaat Hussain and Chaudhry Pervez Elahi, the minister said the PML-Chaudhry Q’s Shujaat Hussain and Chaudhry Pervez Elahi were in frequent communication with the prime minister.
“We will meet PML-Q and MQM shortly,” he said, adding that “certain friends” from the PML-N and PPP who were dissatisfied with their party’s leadership have called the PTI.
He had previously detailed the obstacles encountered by the incumbent government, including Covid-19, the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, and the global inflation that the PTI government faced after taking power.