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June 13, 2021

‘Federal budget aimed at appeasing WB, IMF’

June 13, 2021

PESHAWAR: Chief of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Sirajul Haq on Saturday said the federal budget was not meant for the uplift of the country and well-being of the people but for appeasing the World Bank (WB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF).

“The lion’s share of the federal budget amounting to Rs1,370 billion has been specified for security, which is tantamount to tightening security at the cost of the internal situation of the country. If Dr Iqbal Khalil gives a major share of the budget of this organisation to the watchman standing outside, it would become difficult to run the internal affairs of the institute,” he argued while addressing the inaugural ceremony of the new building of the Institute of Regional Studies here.

The IRS is a research organisation, which was set up by Qazi Hussain Ahmad (late), central chief of the Jamaat-e-Islami in 1981. Currently, Dr Mohammad Iqbal Khalil is serving as chairman of the institute. The inaugural ceremony of the new building was also addressed by Dr Iqbal Khalil, Asif Luqman Qazi, son of Qazi Hussain Ahmad and JI in charge for foreign affairs, Maulana Mohammad Ismail and Dr Fazlur Rahman Qureshi.

Sirajul Haq said that Rs480 billion has been specified for non-development expenses, Rs950 billion for rehabilitation of the government corporations that have been able to make smooth functioning and Rs950 Billion for development. “But only 3 percent allocation has been made for education. Bangladesh is allocating 30 percent of its budget for education and this is the reason its per capita income has shown record increase,” he pointed out.

He said Pakistan was facing the burden of Rs45,000 billion declared foreign loans and for returning interest on the foreign loans an amount of Rs3,400 billion has been earmarked in the federal budget. He said the country’s economy was facing serious challenges. “If the rulers want to overcome the economic challenges, they would have to abolish usury, which is the root cause of all financial problems,” he maintained.

Instead of usury, the rulers should introduce the Islamic system of Zakat and Ushr, the JI chief said. “I guarantee, if the system of Zakat and Ushr is implemented in letter and spirit, Pakistan would become a loan giving country instead of a borrowing one,” he argued.

He said unjust and inequitable distribution of resources is the real problem of the modern world economy. “This problem needs to be addressed in a proper manner and only then the economic problems of the country would be resolved,” he added.

He said that 2.5 million youth in the country were jobless. “The rulers have no plan or vision for them. These young people should be provided skills and given small loans so that they could become useful citizens of the society, otherwise they would prove more harmful than a nuclear bomb,” he stressed.

Dr Iqbal Khalil shed light on the status and objectives of the IRS. He said that the institute was founded by Qazi Hussain Ahmad during the Afghan war and it made great contributions in producing Islamic literature and translating holy Quran and other books in different languages, particularly Russian.

He said the institute has revived its activities and has now got its own purpose-built building. It would serve as a think tank to guide the government and people in the right direction, he added.

Dr Iqbal Khalil said recently the organization conducted two studies on the impact of corona virus on education. He added that the report of the first study was presented to the federal minister of education who lauded it as the first dedicated study on the subject matter and a useful document for the ministry.