Fawad admits to failure in providing relief to middle class

‘Thief stealing Rs1500 billion is PAC chairman’

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ISLAMABAD: Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry has regretted that the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf was unable to provide immediate relief to “middle class” who buoyed the party into power, saying the government has its hands tied due to economic problems inherited from former governments.

Chaudhry, who was addressing an event here yesterday, said: “When we came into power, we found out that Pakistan’s total income was Rs5,647 billion,” he said. “Out of this Rs2,000bn we are paying as interest on loans — loans taken in the past 10 years. The foundations of our economy have been shaken in these 10 years by the PML-N and PPP.

“Our journalists are being laid off despite our media earning between Rs38 to Rs 40bn in three years,” he said. “And when we ask them ‘where have you spent this money’ no one knows where it went. All the workers, be it public or private, haven’t been paid their medical allowances. Their problems haven’t been resolved. This is because all the money has been usurped by the upper class.”

The minister cited a chicken thief and PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif’s examples to point out how the system treats the rich and the poor differently.

“We have initiated an accountability process but the chasm between the rich and the poor still remains,” he said. “Just look at Shahbaz Sharif’s protocol of six cars.