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June 17, 2021

Rose-coloured glasses

 
June 17, 2021

The federal government presented its budget for the financial year 2021-22 on June 11. However, it was evident that no priority was given to ordinary people. No considerable steps have been taken to overcome the problem of rising inflation in the country. Taxes on luxury items, which are rarely consumed by a majority of people, have been reduced. Even though the government has set aside Rs900 billion for the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP), it is fair to assume that people will hardly see the positive effects of this allocation – as has happened in the past. Even parliamentarians have complained that they didn’t receive sufficient funds to complete the pending projects. Also, low-paid government employees were expecting a sufficient increase in their salaries to meet the challenges created by rising inflation. The government announced a meagre increase of 10 percent in public sector salaries pays and pensions. Essential commodities are still beyond the affordability of ordinary people. The government has allocated insufficient funds to the health and education sectors, and it is likely that it will not be able to meet the challenges that these sectors are facing.

If a budget does not talk about people’s wishes and interests, how can we call it a people-friendly and balanced budget? It seems that this budget protects the interests of the elite. There is no relief for those who live from hand to mouth.

Guldar Khan Wazir

Loralai