ISLAMABAD: Members of the Senate on Monday lambasted the government for the wheat shortage and rising prices of essential commodities in the country, while they held responsible incompetence of the government for the inflation, unemployment and wheat crisis.
Senate Session was held in Chair of Chairman Senate Saddiq Sanjrani. The Opposition leader in the upper house of the Parliament,Raja Zafar Ul Haque raised the issue of the flour crisis and demanded a immediate debate on the matter.
Chairmna senate barring the normal agenda allowed debate on the flour crisis.
“This issue concerns the people of Pakistan,” said Senator Sirajul Haq, the head of Jamaat-e-Islami, during Monday’s session. “Pakistan is an agricultural economy,” he said, adding that it is the eighth-largest wheat producing country in the world. “Despite this, the people of Pakistan are desperate for roti [bread],” lamented Haq.
“What is cruel is that a federal minister, standing among people, says that people eat more bread in November and December, which has caused the [wheat] shortage,” said Haq. “Do these people have hearts of stone?” he questioned, adding that the minister had made a joke out of the people of Pakistan.
Haq was referring to Federal Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid’s remarks at a press conference on Saturday, where he was asked about the wheat shortage. “In November and December, people eat more bread than usual,” Rashid had said, eliciting laughter from the room. “It’s not a joke, a study backs my claims,” he had added.
During the Senate session, Haq and other senators censured the government for Rashid’s remarks. “The world is making fun of us, saying people have walked on the moon and in Pakistan, people are waiting in lines for a bag of wheat.”
Haq’s comments were echoed by Senator Usman Kakar of the Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party, who questioned who was responsible for the crisis. “The main culprit is the anti-people government and those who have imposed it on the people,” said Kakar. “They have made life difficult. People haven’t voted for them, which is why they are continuously punishing people,” he added.
Kakar lamented that the prices of all essential commodities had increased by around 13 per cent to 15pc on average, while some items were being sold for up to 200% more than the previous price. “Naan [bread] was sold for Rs20 in Quetta, but is now being sold for Rs40,” he said.
“And then you are even making fun of the people,” he said, referring to Sheikh Rashid’s remarks. “The opposition should take a stand against the government until they apologise to the people,” said Kakar.