Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zradri has said that the government cannot cover its inefficiency by shifting the blame of inflation on the International Monetary Fund (IMF). In a statement on Sunday, Bilawal responded to Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin’s recent claim that the IMF forced Pakistan to increase interest rates and electricity prices that doubled the cost of debt servicing and pushed inflation upward. Bilawal asked, “If India could overcome inflation by 4.20 percent and Bangladesh could do the same by 5.54 percent, during the Covid pandemic, why was the ratio at 10.9 percent in Pakistan?” He said that the government had put the sovereignty of the nation at stake by signing an agreement with the IMF on tough conditions. He alleged, “The mafia working under Imran Khan’s supervision raised the prices of chicken by 110 percent in the past three months. The PTI elite minted billions by raising the prices of chicken, and unfortunately, they will now lower the prices and claim credit.” He said that a common man does not have money, criticising the premier for “planning to hand over billions to PTI lawmakers in the forthcoming budget”. He added, “Awarding Rs96 billion to PTI lawmakers in the midst of the worst economic crisis is [an] anti-people [step]. Instead of handing out billions to those elected through rigging, the premier should spend money from the exchequer on people’s welfare.” Bilawal stated that the government had remained unable to bring about its five-year economic plan. “If the PTI’s policy is to plan the economy on the IMF’s directions, then the premier should tell people openly that he came to power without any planning.” Earlier on June 3, Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin claimed that the IMF forced Pakistan to take certain steps that pushed inflation upward. In a rejoinder to the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) critique of the government’s economic policies, the minister also said when the PML-N was in power, the 5.5% economic growth rate was fuelled by borrowings. “Debt servicing increased because of the increase in interest rates,” Tarin said.