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June 13, 2021

Opp says budget to bring inflation, unemployment

June 13, 2021

By News Desk

ISLAMABAD: The opposition parties leaders have rejected the federal budget 2021-22, saying that it added to price-hike and unemployment, while the government ministers say the opposition is commenting on the budget without reading it.

The PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Saturday condemned the budget proposed by the federal government, calling it an "economic attack on Pakistanis". The PPP chairman, in a statement issued from Media Cell of Bilawal House, and talking to journalists in Takht Bhai, said the PTI would not be permitted to "play with the nation’s future", vowing his party would not allow the government "to conduct an economic murder of the people." "The year might have changed, but the conditions of the people remain the same. A poor man’s house is still being deprived of necessities," he said.

He said the PTI government had added to the woes of the people. “The inflation ratio in the country is higher than Afghanistan, India and Bangladesh,” he remarked, adding, "Ministers are so embarrassed that they've hidden the figures for poverty and unemployment from the Economic Survey." The PPP chairman said that while the government was busy presenting "false facts" through the Economic Survey 2020-21 and claiming that the nation is flourishing, the government employees protested against inflation outside the Parliament.

“People are now retaliating because they are aware of the prime minister’s empty promises,” he said, adding: "They know it is Imran Khan’s habit to talk big and do nothing." Highlighting how the facts tell another story, Bilawal said that an anti-people budget "was expected" from the PTI government. “If the inflation rate, unemployment, and poverty figures have been historic during Imran Khan’s tenure, how can the budget be public [friendly]?” he questioned.

The PMLN leader Ahsan Iqbal said that there was no value of the figures given in the national budget presented by the PTI government since these were all ‘fabricated’, reported local media.

Addressing a press conference, he regretted that bills were passed in the National Assembly couple of days back by bypassing the opposition. “Despite the fact that members of the opposition protested, but all our protests fell on deaf ears,” he deplored.

He questioned as to why was the government in a rush to get the bills passed? “Never ever in any democracy have the laws been passed in such a haste,” Ahsan remarked.

Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry lashed out at the opposition’s customary irresponsible attitude of not even bothering to going through the budget document up till now.

“What can the people expect from such frivolous opposition,” he said in a tweet.

He said these people will be seen standing in the corner carrying similar banners for the next seven years. He said the federal budget has been appreciated by people from all walks of life, which adds to its importance.

Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Farrukh Habib on Saturday said the PTI government presented a balanced budget despite all challenges.

Talking to a private news channel, he remarked that the government did not impose any new tax on masses and committed to give relief to them. He said the government worked for uplifting living standard of marginalised segment of the society in the budget.

Farrukh said employees’ salaries had been increased despite all economic challenges amid COVID-19.

To a query about high inflation ratio, he said all the developed countries were facing challenges due to pandemic but in Pakistan, they were trying to alleviate poverty through sustainable social sector progress. He said focus had been given to large scale manufacturing.

Opposition leader in the Senate Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani raised the question on the constitutional status of the budget, saying that the presentation of the budget is un-constitutional without the announcement of the National Finance Commission (NFC) Award.

“The Federal Budget for the fiscal year 2021-2022 has no legal and constitutional status without the NFC,” he said.

Special Assistant to PM on Political Affairs Shahbaz Gill said in a tweet that Ahsan Iqbal’s criticism about the budget was misplaced. He said the allocation for defence and other needs could have been larger had the PMLN not imposed obsolete power agreements with IPP for which Pakistan paid Rs1,500 billion even without purchasing electricity.