Wednesday July 06, 2022

Budget debate in NA: GDA flays Rs400bn new taxes, treasury says PTI responsible for it

By Our Correspondent
June 24, 2022

ISLAMABAD: The opposition member and former speaker, Dr Fahmida Mirza, Thursday criticised the coalition government for proposing over Rs400 billion indirect taxes for the upcoming financial year, while lawmakers from the treasury benches held the previous Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government responsible for the current economic crisis, high inflation, increased prices of petroleum products, gas and electricity.

Taking part in debate on the federal budget, Dr Mirza from the Grand Democratic Alliance said that imposition of over Rs400 billion indirect taxes would break the back of common man. She pointed out that the Economic Survey of Pakistan released before announcement of the budget mentioned 5.97% growth rate achieved by the last government, while economic statistics were also totally different as being touted by the ruling parties’ leaders and ministers.

She regretted that every institution in the country had been made controversial and also demanded an in-camera briefing to the Parliament on discussion which took place at meeting of the Parliamentary Party on National Security.

She called for imposing economic and education emergencies in the country to deal with the two important sectors. Dr Mirza strongly condemned the blasphemous act committed by two BJP leaders, attacks on the Muslim population and demolition of their properties in India. She asked Pakistan, which currently holds chair of OIC Foreign Minister’s forum, to call its emergency session and effectively raise the issue there.

Responding to points raised by the GDA member, Federal Minister Israr Tareen said the Parliament would be taken into confidence on all important decisions. Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PMLN) member Rasheed Ahmed Khan said policies of the ‘selected government’ of the PTI were the main reason behind deteriorated economic condition and sky-rocketing inflation in the country. He asked the government to conduct an inquiry into the alleged corruption committed by the PTI leadership and friends.

PPP lawmaker Syed Agha Rafiullah said despite all economic and other challenges, the coalition government decided to take charge to avert bankruptcy and default. PMLN lawmaker Dr Darshan, while criticising the PTI deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), said policies of Imran Khan’s government made life of common man miserable.

He also highlighted the issue of water shortage for irrigation purposes in the Sindh province. PMLN MNA Dr Malik Mukhtar Ahmad stressed the need for signing a ‘Charter of Economy’ for sustainable economic growth and putting the country in the right direction.

Shahida Akhtar Ali of MMA termed the budget good in the present circumstances; however, she demanded more realistic policies which might uplift the downtrodden segment of society. Ahmed Raza Maneka of the PMLN expressed confidence that the coalition government would soon be able to revive the national economy as it took drastic measures in the federal budget 2022-23 to put the country on a sustainable path of progress and development.

Mahar Irshad Ahmad Khan of the PPPP condemned the derogatory remarks uttered by India’s BJP leaders against Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) that hurt the sentiments of Muslims across the country.

Mohsin Dawar registered his protest against non-production of Ali Wazir in the National Assembly during discussion on the federal budget despite the fact that the speaker issued his production orders.

He said that Ali Wazir was admitted to a hospital but he was not being discharged, though he protested against it. Speaker Raja Pervez Ashraf said he would direct the National Assembly secretariat to present a report to him in this regard.