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June 4, 2016

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Govt allies, ministers term budget people-friendly

Govt allies, ministers term budget people-friendly

ISLAMABAD/LAHORE: Lawmakers, especially from the ruling PML-N, in their messages and media comments on Friday termed the federal budget for 2016-17 as balanced, people-oriented and farmers-friendly.

Federal Minister for Housing and Works Akram Khan Durrani said the budget provided relief measures for almost every segment of the society and was the best in the current situation. Federal Minister for Gilgit-Baltistan and Kashmir Affairs Barjees Tahir said the cost of fertilizer, electricity and machinery related to agriculture had been reduced.

Senior ANP leader Ghulam Ahmad Bilour said the government had announced generous incentives for the Pakistan Railways and hailed the allocation of a hefty amount of Rs 115 billion for the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP).

BISP Chairperson Marvi Memon said the budget had prioritised the marginalised segments through allocating sufficient funds for social nets, promoting the agriculture sector and raising minimum wage rate. The decision to expand road networks for ensuring easy access of agriculture and industrial products to the markets was also a positive endeavour, she added.

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz said the measures suggested in the budget would help provide relief to the downtrodden segments of society. He added that various incentives announced in the budget would generate employment opportunities.

Minister for Religious Affairs Sardar Yusuf termed the 10 per cent increase in salaries of government employees with merger of previous two years ad-hoc relief into basic salary as a reasonable raise.

Minister for National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination Saira Afzal Tarar said sufficient amount had been allocated to improve the health facilities in the country, including the Prime Minister's Health Insurance Scheme.

MNA Tahira Aurungzeb said the government had not imposed a singletax which might affect the common man.

State Minister for Privatization Muhammad Zubair said the government's budgetary measures would stabilise the economy and lead to growth of industrial and agricultural sectors. He said the provinces would get more resources for social sector including education and health from the federal government as it had increased the available financial resources substantially.

Parliamentary Secretary Rana Afzal said the government announced a mega package for agriculture sector and the subsidy had also been given to the farmers on seeds and fertilizers.

Board of Investment Chairman Miftah Ismail said the government had announced special incentives to boost investment in the country, with sufficient allocated for energy sector.

Punjab Minister for Law Rana Sanaullah said the PML-N government had won hearts of the farmers by giving unprecedented relief and incentives to the agriculture sector. The cut in power tariff and prices of fertilizers and other agri inputs would provide relief to the farming community and increase production.

Provincial Minister Malik Nadeem Kamran described the public-friendly budget as an achievement, while Minister for Minorities Affairs Khalil Tahir Sindhu said the government had fulfilled the promise about providing relief to the masses.

Punjab government Spokesman Zaeem Qadri said due attention had been paid to infrastructure, energy and human resources.

Minister for Food Bilal Yasin said slashing the urea bag price from Rs 2,050 to Rs 1,400 was an achievement of the PML-N government, while Parliamentary Secretary Rana Arshad said budget would open new avenues of development.

MPA Azma Bukhari said the budget was balanced and people-friendly, while Adnan Farid said withdrawal of tax on laptops and computers would promote information technology.

Meanwhile, the government servants in the federal capital welcomed the increase in perks and pensions announced by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar. A senior bureaucrat Muhammad Salim said, "It is good increase and we welcome it,” and also the lauded the move to raise the pensions.

Another civil servant Muhammad Akram said the government should take steps to check the activities of profiteers and hoarders to arrest the illogical trends of inflation. He said the increase in perks was enough, if the commodity prices were frozen for the upcoming year. –Agencies/News Desk

 

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