Monday July 22, 2024

People hope relief in budget: experts

By Our Correspondent
June 03, 2023

LAHORE: The government has been preparing the forthcoming budget in the background of upcoming general elections. The nation expects that this budget will be presented with reference to economic conditions and not political objectives. These views were expressed by the discussants in Jang Economic Session on ‘What type of budget should be presented by the government. 

The panellists were Dr Salahuddin Ayubi, Mian Muhammad Ali, Aftab Gull, Husnain Jameel Fareedi and Fahim-ur-Rehman Saigol while moderated by Sikindar Lodhi. Dr Salahuddin Ayubi said the import situation was same 30 years ago like today and inflation was due to it while the economic situation worsened now. Pakistan won’t need IMF provided corporate sector gives money.

 Currently Pakistan has short of 7 to 8 percent of revenue against its expenditures while situation is out of control that government and household expenditures are not reducing. IMF all conditions are not wrong. Economy is on decline while more subsidy is given than the defence budget. Mian Muhammad Ali said that it would be the difficult budget of 72 years. The government has always been fulfilling the IMF conditions.

 IMF has been putting pressure on Pakistan under a global agenda, he said. In 72 years, Pakistan presented deficit budget due to more expenditures than income. The government should increase the taxes taking the business community into confidence to increase income. Restore the universal tax system, restrictions on imports should be removed for development in industrial sector.

Aftab Gull said that every government want to give relief in the budget while the people think they will get relief this year, but it is not in the government’s control. Provision of cheap food is not among the priorities of the government. Sui gas loadshedding is happening in peak summer while the price of Roti will increase with the use of LPG and wood. Price of Roti could not be kept low when petrol, gas and flour prices are increasing. Husnain Jameel Fareedi said that relief to the general public could not be possible with strict IMF conditions.

This budget will be election budget. He demanded the government double minimum wage to Rs50,000 from 25,000, increase education and health budget. Circumstances demand concentration on improving our economic conditions by paying the debts, raising taxes on housing societies and promoting local industries.

 Fahim-ur-Rehman Saigol said that Russia-Ukraine war and covid adversely hit the global economy while political instability in Pakistan also affected the economy. Import ban affected the industries while problems are growing due to non-availability of raw material while import ban on essential will further increase inflation. The budget will be IMF budget.Pakistan is an agricultural country but never given priority to agriculture, rather agricultural area is being converted into housing societies, he concluded.