Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Parliamentary Leader in Senate Sherry Rehman on Thursday said that the government had completely failed to deal with the country’s economic problems.“The US dollar has touched an all-time high of Rs 148. However, the government keeps on repeating that the people need not worry. A new wave of inflation is about to engulf the country as the government enslaves itself without any filter to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Up next is a 15 per cent hike in power tariff which will affect multiple sectors across the country from the bottom of the economic ladder to businesses. To make matters worse, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government has already increased electricity tariffs by 33 per cent since taking charge. It is getting very difficult for a common man to survive in these testing times,” she said. “Experts are of the view that the dollar will further strengthen. The rupee has remained extremely volatile since PTI came to power. Before the recent historical plunge, the rupee had lost its value against the dollar by 25 per cent. It’s becoming increasingly hard to predict anything in this environment, with investors skittish at their stakes, but we hope this is not the plan. Unfortunately, this is the second time that the dollar has increased so drastically against the rupee. The latest spike has caused Pakistan’s foreign debt to increase by Rs 666 billion. Who will be answerable for this? The government has clearly lost the plot, operating without providing predictability for any sector except the banks and currency exchange people,” she said.“Ironically, the continuing market plunge in the rupee’s value has come a day after the PM set up a committee to control its devaluation. The dollar is still very short in the market and the government has been unable to crack down on exchange companies who are hoarding the dollar and selling it at higher rates. One hopes the PM will do something after catching the news on television,” Rehman said. “It has been agreed between Pakistan and the IMF that an independent body will be set up to determine the rupee rate to comply with IMF conditions. Who is in this independent body, and why is it bypassing statutory central bank responsibilities? There is no transparency in the formation of such bodies and the interests they represent. The central bank now is also being run by the IMF. Let us hope that the new State Bank governor will try to protect the Pakistani people and not his last employer. This is not the country’s first IMF programme. We have all implemented such programmes in the past. However, the way the body has been given a free hand this time is unprecedented. Never before has it been allowed to be so intrusive. As governments, our job was to negotiate and navigate policies that retained our own social priorities first and then the fund’s confidence. It appears the country will be run via an unprecedented programme of harsh and opaque terms while the ministers will be busy with ribbon-cutting,” the senator said.