Pakistan People’s Party Parliamentarian (PPPP) Vice President Senator Sherry Rehman on Monday criticised the authorities for the 1.5 percent hike in the interest rate and said that given the trends, one could expect further increase in the interest rate and inflation in the next six months.In a statement, the senator said that the increase in interest rate would also drive unemployment further up in the months to come. “The interest rate has been increased in accordance with the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) demands,” she said, adding that the rate was increased by 50 basis points in March, and just two months later, the authorities raised it again by 150 basis points to an eight-year high of 12.25 percent. Sherry said the government was implementing the IMF terms before the deal was even signed. “This is also evident in the unabated increase in dollar rate, which has seen the rupee plummet to Rs 152 in the open market.”She said the devaluation of rupee was going to make paying back the debt an onerous task. “It appears that the government is nothing more than a silent spectator in front of the IMF. Every step it is taking seems to be an effort to please a few. Its haphazard decisions are wrecking the economy,” she added. Sherry also slammed the incumbent rulers, saying that it seemed as if the poor people of the country were not the government’s priority at all. She said the IMF programme would continue until the last quarter of 2022, leaving less than three quarters for the government to generate jobs.“We hope that the government has not lost track of its promises of providing 10 million jobs to the people – so far the opposite has been the case,” she regretted. “So far, all the economic indicators are flashing red,” she said, adding that the per capita income in the country had dropped by 8 percent and revenue targets were being missed consistently.