ISLAMABAD, December 14, 2018: Speaking on the floor of the House, PPP Parliamentary Leader in Senate, Senator Sherry Rehman raised five key questions pertaining to the recent rupee devaluation and Pakistan’s spiralling economy in her calling attention notice. The combined opposition then staged a walkout after the Senator’s questions were not adequately answered in the absence of the Finance Minister.
Rehman pointed out that, “It is rather troubling that the Finance Minister is readily available for media appearances and has answered more questions in talks shows and press conferences than he ever has in parliament”.
The Senator then questioned the government on who is calling the shots on Pakistan’s economy, “If the Prime Minister did not know about such a huge devaluation and yet the Finance Minister did, then who is in charge and who will take responsibility? Entire livelihoods were wiped out in the crash while they were celebrating their first 100 days in government,” she said.
“If the precipitous devaluation was not part of any IMF precondition to bring the rupee down to non-artificial rate, then why was it done in such a disastrous freefall in two crashes? Either way why was the managed float not graduated down slowly?” asked the former Senate Opposition Leader.
Rehman added, “If the current account deficit will be fixed by this adjustment via a more robust export sector why are all the exporters saying that the crash is too steep and the comparative impact on imports is too high to help our exports?”
The Senator also reiterated the importance of transparency. She said, “When a country’s currency crashes so fast in one or two days, then there has to be an inquiry into who traded on the inside and made a fortune, while others lost their businesses and savings. The FIA should share its findings with parliament on which money changer or syndicate profited from the devaluation”.
“We are told the external account is under immense pressure but tell us if billions won’t be added to foreign debt as a result of the whopping exchange rate adjustment? It is the Finance Minister’s job to answer these five questions in parliament”. Rehman concluded.