Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Friday said the 2023 polls would “prove” to be the final elections of the PPP and PML-N, as the government hails its move of bulldozing the ‘mini-budget’ and the SBP (Amendment) Bill in the National Assembly.
The treasury benches on Thursday passed the key legislations through the upper house of parliament amid strong clamour from the opposition in a seven-hour long house session in order to meet the required conditions of the International Monetary Fund. The bone of contention between the two benches have been “hefty taxes” and SBP’s autonomy.
Under such legislation, the other side of the aisle alleged that the government would further increase people’s woes by imposing taxes worth Rs350 billion on them. However, the treasury has defended such levies, saying that Rs200 billion – out of the total Rs350 billion – worth of taxes was adjustable and levies were being increased on luxury items.
Reacting to the government’s move, Fawad took to Twitter to express his delight on what he deemed another “victory” over the opposition in the assembly. He also shared a picture of parliamentarians sitting on opposition benches.
“Another defeat for the opposition in parliament. Inshallah, these faces [opposition leaders] will be completely out of parliament in the 2023 elections. The 2023 elections will prove to be final polls of the PML-N and PPP groups,” he said.
Apart from the government’s claim of victory, Thursday was not an easy day for the treasury benches as sources revealed that Prime Minister Imran Khan and Defence Minister Pervez Khattak had a heated argument during the party’s parliamentary leaders' meeting. The meeting was held to discuss the strategy for convincing those in the PTI coalition to support the Finance (Supplementary) Bill 2021.
Sources said Khattak had raised the issue of gas and electricity facilities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and told the PM that he should remember who voted him to power.
“If you don’t like me, then I can hand over the government to somebody else,” the PM reportedly replied before starting to walk out of the meeting.
The premier also chided the defence minister for raising the issue at the parliamentary meeting while accusing him of blackmail. “I don’t have mills and I didn’t join politics to increase my wealth,” they quoted the PM as saying during the heated exchange.
It allegedly triggered a walkout from Khattak. The defence minister, during an informal conversation with journalists following the meeting, denied having a heated exchange, stating “I only raised my voice for what is our right.”