The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) has issued a “white paper” highlighting the government’s failure to curb price hike, poverty and joblessness.
It says more than 58pc of the people in the country are living below the poverty line.
Issued by Chaudhry Sarwar, the document claims that since the PML-N came into power, more than 1.5 million people had been rendered jobless and some 400,000 more would be added to the figure by the end of 2016. Joblessness, it says, is leading some 75pc of the youth to different mental ailments.
The paper also claims that the new taxes worth Rs40 billion have increased prices of 125 items being used by common people, reducing their ability to get decent health and education facilities as well as safe drinking water.
Chaudhry Sarwar recalls that the PML-N had raised the slogan of eliminating poverty but says contrarily the tariffs of electricity, gas and prices of eatables are on the rise.
Quoting media reports, he says factories are being closed due to electricity and gas loadshedding and more than 100 factories have been closed during the PML-N rule in Punjab.
Finding no opportunities in the local market, he says, millions of youth go abroad to look for greener pastures and many of them are falling a victim to frauds at the hands of travel agents and recruiting agencies.
Citing a national survey, the PTI leader says 3.2 million children under 15 years are working as labourers, a majority of them doing overwork but earning just Rs50 to Rs100 per day.
Despite tall claims of the government, he says, more than 43pc of the people are living below the poverty line in south Punjab.
The white paper also says the media reports suggest that the Rs40 billion new taxes have opened the floodgate of price hike and the prices of kitchen items have registered 15pc increase.
Meanwhile, issuing one-year report card of the Punjab government, opposition leader Mahmoodur Rashid claims the province registered 86 per cent raise in crime graph during the year.
Speaking at a press conference here on Thursday, he said neither the ‘thana culture’ was changed nor the masses could get justice in 2015 as an increase of 86pc was seen in the crime graph.
He lamented that the masses were deprived of clean drinking water, quality education and a decent health system but the rulers were constructing the Rs165 billion metro train.
He recalled that the government had allocated Rs109 billion for law and order and initiated a safe-city project besides establishing 80 police service centres to rid the citizens of traditional callous ‘thana culture.’ But the project was not implemented, he regretted.
Around 44,000 policemen were doing VVIP duty as the masses had been left at the mercy of criminals, he said.
About education, the opposition leader said 12 million children in Punjab were deprived of education facilities while 15,000 ghost schools were operating in the province as feudal lords were occupying many school building in south Punjab.
He alleged that the bureaucracy in education department was attempting to surrender education funds so that the same could be used for the metro train.
Talking about drinking water, he said the government had announced a three-year water supply project in the budget but it was not started, while he claimed that 1.1 million people, including 250,000 children, died because of drinking contaminated water just in one year.
The performance in health sector was also miserable, he alleged, as children were dying because of want of ventilators in hospitals.
By November 2015, he said just 22pc of the allocations made for the health sector could be utilised as conditions of health facilities were worsening day by day.
Mr Rashid also criticised the government’s policies in agriculture, food and other sectors and launching the Orange Train project with loan money.