Khurshid Shah criticizes PML-N budget as anti-people

Saturday, June 15th, 2013 9:00:01 by

Opposition leader in the National Assembly, Syed Khurshid Ahmad Shah said on Saturday the new budget envisages no relief measures for the poor‚ farmers and labourers.



Opening debate in the budget he said it was the first budget of the PML-N government and it would have been pro-poor and people friendly.


He said some of the government measures have triggered wave of inflation‚ curtailed by the previous government of PPP to single digit. He said proposed increase of six rupees in electricity bills will also add to the woes of poor people.


Syed Khurshid Ahmad Shah said the PML-N had announced in its manifesto to raise the minimum salary to 15000 rupees but nothing has been announced in this regard in the budget. He said the government should have increased minimum wage to ten thousand rupees by giving raise of two thousand rupees.


Khurshid Shah said allowing duty free import of hybrid cars is an appreciable steps but it would have been better had the government also abolished sales tax on cycles‚ used by sixty percent of the poor segment of the society. He hoped the government will abolish seventeen percent GST on cycles.


The PPP leader urged the government to formulate policies keeping in view the interests of the poor people.


Dr. Shireen Mazari of PTI said the budget focuses on indirect taxes rather than widening the net of the direct taxes which is in contravention of the constitution that envisages equality of status and opportunities for all citizens.


She was of the view that salaried class‚ labourers and small traders have been ignored in the budget and the government failed to announce any increase in minimum wages. She said the expected increase in electricity tariff would also put more burden on honest consumers who are already paying for corruption and theft.


Opening the debate on behalf of the treasury benches‚ Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal said this is not an ordinary budget as the government got only five days after assumption of powers he firm up budgetary proposals.


He said after electoral victory of PML-N market capitalization of Karachi Stock Exchange increased by five billion dollars and there was an increase of seven hundred points after the budget which is indicative of the confidence of the business community in the economic policies of the government.


The Minister said in the back drop of nose dive in almost every sector of the economy‚ the new government had two options either to seek more loans and print notes that would have caused more inflation or go for measures to treat the economic malaise. He said the government is pursuing a policy that would help the country get rid of foreign assistance. He said the government is determined to introduce transparency and eliminate corruption.


Sher Akbar Khan of Jamaat-e-Islami termed the budget as imbalanced and added that it contains no worthwhile programme to address issues like poverty‚ price hike‚ corruption and load-shedding. He demanded provision of gas in Bunair besides electrification of its villages and creation of more sub-divisions. He wanted allocations for clean drinking water‚ education‚ health and roads in PSDP for Bunair.

The House will now meet tomorrow morning (Sunday) at 11:30.


In Senate‚ initiating the debate on behalf of the Leader of the Opposition Mian Raza Rabbani said it is the budget of elite class and big businesses. He said the budgetary proposals are against the spirit of federalism and provincial autonomy.

He said the proposed imposition of one percent GST will have rolling affect and the prices of different commodities will increase further. He said the budget will hit working‚ lower‚ middle and professional.


He said keeping in view the overall impact on the budget‚ the ten percent increase of the salaries of civil servants is insufficient. He criticized that PML-N has not proposed any increase in the minimum wage of the labourers.


Jaffar Iqbal said the government is determined to settle the circular debt in two months time to overcome the energy crisis. He said 3-G technology auction will be conducted in a transparent way. He said in the budget a Qarza-e-Hasana scheme has been proposed and for this five billion rupees have been allocated. He said fifty percent of this amount will be given to women as Qarza-e-Hasana.


Ilyas Bilour said Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan provinces have been affected badly by terrorism but no measures have been proposed in the budget for the redressal of the people of these provinces. He said taxes proposed in the budget will put extra burden on the poor. He termed the budget as moderate. He appreciated abolition of discretionary funds.


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