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PML-N govt criticised for spending on ‘media appeasement’

Social media users said that no one reads the paper in this era of digital media, suggesting that it is only meant to feed and please media houses.

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Netizens have cristised the PML-N government for spending public money for media appeasement while the country is stuck in an economic crisis.

The debate started after all the Country’s leading newspapers published PML-N government advertisements showing economic regression during Imram Khan’s tenure between 2018 to 2022.

Social media users said that no one reads the paper in this era of digital media, suggesting that it is only meant to feed and please media houses.

In a Tweet, Pakistani author Imtiaz Gul said, “Country on brink of default but govt has plenty to feed/please media this way. How tragic to spend public money on questionable comparisons.”

Read more: Pakistan rapidly heading towards ‘default’: Shabbar Zaidi

‘Questionable’ figures

Interestingly, many figures shown in the ad are also questionable. According to the Economy of Pakistan, the Fiscal deficit till April was 2566 billion and not 5500 billion as mentioned in the ad.

Taking to Twitter, the group said, “the government is showing economic progress by going back in history.”

“Wrong flour price for both. Unemployment should be in %age & its lower, adding new population directly to unemployment numbers don’t make sense. Same with loans, it should be a percentage of GDP & they are lower. They will obviously grow with our economy,” it added.

“Electricity & Gas prices are also wrong, is it 25Rs? Also Urea price turned 1800Rs in their tenure & stayed almost stable in the last one.”

Challenges facing the Pakistani currency

The debate comes as the Pakistani rupee breached yet another important threshold of 195 in the interbank market to hit its weakest level on Tuesday.

Maintaining its downturn for the eighth successive working day, the Pakistani rupee was traded at Rs196.50 against the greenback during intraday trading, surpassing its last day’s record low of Rs194.60.

Read more: Imtiaz Gul asks if preachers of hybrid warfare became its instrument?

A persistent delay in receiving the next tranche of $1 billion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is mounting pressure on the rupee.

PM Shehbaz meets currency dealers

A day earlier, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had a virtual meeting with Exchange Companies Association of Pakistan (ECAP) Chairman Malik Bostan.

The premier was informed that a trade deficit, delay in the tranche loan from the IMF, political instability, and excessive borrowing were reasons for the rupee depreciation.

“Importers are opening more Letters of Credit (LC) while exporters’ inflows are low due to which demand in the interbank market has increased and supply has decreased,” Bostan said.

“Exchange companies are not increasing the dollar rates and dollar rate in the free market cannot be reduced until the rate in the interbank market is reduced.”