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June 24, 2021

Govt wants to bring presidential system: Khaqan

June 24, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi while rejecting budget proposals said the government would have to impose indirect taxes at a time when currency rate is going down and inflation on the rise to achieve revenue collection targets of over Rs5,800 billion. Taking part in debate on the federal budget in the NA, the PMLN leader also regretted the view of the finance minister that countries’ economies are run on indirect taxation.

The PMLN leader also ridiculed the statement of the defence minister on the floor of the House that increase in inflation results in the progress of a country.

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi maintained that the government wants to bring presidential form of government in the country which could not be an option. “This notion should be buried once for all,” Abbasi said.

He questioned whether what happened in the National Assembly on June 15 was a conspiracy as the social media started talking about the presidential form of system in the country soon after that. He said the parliamentarians use cars worth Rs50 million, reside in houses worth Rs500 million, pay up to Rs300,000 electricity bills, but they do not pay taxes.

He said the ministers have been delivering the same old speeches while pointing fingers at past governments in the last three years as they have learnt nothing during this period. He also ridiculed continuous reshuffling in the federal cabinet, saying if a minister is incompetent in a ministry then how he could be competent for another portfolio.

Khawaja Saad Rafique of the PMLN said the finance minister after assuming charge of the ministry took about turn on his statement when he said the incumbent government had played havoc with the country's economy.

Saad Rafique said that budget speech of the minister carried many contradictions like he talked about the agriculture sector. “On one hand the minister said there has been bumper crops in the country, while on the other, he told the House that Pakistan has become a food deficit country,” he said.

Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan while regretting the attitude of the opposition in the House said the prime minister was dubbed as selected during his very first speech while the president was also disrupted while he was addressing a joint session of the Parliament.

The minister asked the opposition parties to correct the direction of their politics and refrain from confronting institutions. Ghulam Sarwar also defended 10 percent increase in salaries of government employees saying at least none of them was laid off.

The minister said the government gave incentives packages to the farmers community and also enhanced wheat support price from Rs1,300 to Rs1,800.

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Parliamentary Affairs Dr Babar Awan asked the opposition to have patience to listen to his speech. He said the opposition parties have been presenting budgets in the last over 30 years but none of their budget documents talked about giving relief to the common man.

“Our budget is budget of the poor and not of the elite,” he said.

The adviser pointed out that so far the opposition members have been given over 27 hours to speak on the budget instead of 19 hours as decided at the business advisory committee meeting. He also took strong exception to opposition for opposing the right of vote to the overseas Pakistanis.

Babar Awan says the talk of the presidential system is nothing more than a speculation.

Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Farrukh Habib said that Prime Minister Imran Khan set an example of austerity by significantly reducing the expenditures of his house and office.

He said the economy grew by 4 percent during the current fiscal year despite the COVID-19 pandemic.