ISLAMABAD: All Pakistan Muslim League Spokesperson Fawad Ch said that Budget 2011-12 has been designed against the whims and expectations of the common man as no relief has been announced related to reduce mounting charges of electricity, POL and commodities prices. APML spokesperson Fawad Ch stated that PPP led ruling government during last two consecutive years has failed to meet economic targets whereas Economic Survey of Pakistan and ‘Budget Proposal’ have also exposed the destructive economic policies of the incumbent government.
Pakistan was making progress with annual growth rate of 6.4% when PPP assumed power three years ago in 2008 but that growth rate has now downed to 2% whereas the annual growth rate of our neighboring countries has been increasing with the ratio of India 7.7%, Sri Lnka 6.6% and Bangladesh 6%. Meanwhile the average growth rate of other Asian Countries has been recorded by 8.6%.
APML Spokesperson said that it’s first time during last three decades that per capita income in Pakistan has witnessed a decease as during the regime of Presidnet Musharraf per capita income in Pakistan has crossed $1,500. He also said that during last three years under the leadership of PPP-led coalition government the burden of foreign debt upon Pakistan has been mounted upto $5 billion and foreign reserve of Pakistan has been comprised almost on 70% loans from IMF.
Fawad Ch also pointed out that PPP-led ruling government has been dependent totally on US aid and in absence of American funding the financial deficit of the government could be raised from 5.1% to 5.7%. Fawad Ch said that under the leadership of PPP-led coalition government during last three years a major cut in foreign investment has been observed in Pakistan and the main reason behind all this reduced foreign investment is corrupt leadership and rocketing corruption at all fronts in the country. APML spokesman Fawad Ch termed the share in basic salaries of government employees very humiliating amid prevailing inflation.
Former Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said that there is nothing in the budget, which could help to give relief to the people and reduce inflation.
Opposition Member of National Assembly Javed Hashmi has termed the budget just jugglery of figures which can not be provide any relief to the common. Another MNA from PML(N) Hanif Abbasi said that opposition has fulfilled its due right of the peoples’ representation by doing protest during the budget speech.
Former Federal Minister Dr Babar Awan has said that the real and undemocratic faces of opposition have been unveiled by making hue and cry in the assembly. He said that N-League is playing the politics of local bodies. On one side Nawaz Sharif is declaring the parliament superior while on the other hand he is trying to escape from it too.
“Bangles should be thrown on that leaders which fled from country” PPP is developing the politics of reconciliation in the country”, he added.
The Jamaat e Islami chief, Syed Munawar Hasan, and Secretary General, Liaquat Baloch, have termed the 2011-12 fiscal budget as the budget of international money lenders and not of the Pakistani people with no relief for the masses. In their reaction to the budget speech of the Finance Minister, they said the 15 per cent pay raise for government employees was totally inadequate in view of 25 per cent price rise during the outgoing year. They said that the Rs. 27.67 trillion budget included budget deficit of Rs. 3.4 trillion besides financial deficit of Rs. 851 billion. Almost one third of the budget, i.e. 791 billion would go to the foreign financial institutions as interest on loans.
The JI leaders said that the government was seemed bent upon acquiring foreign and domestic loans which would lead to further raise in taxes, POL prices besides electricity and gas charges. Only a paltry amount of Rs. 40 billion had been allocated for education and public health that reflected the government’s concern for the public welfare, they added.
Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik has said that the government presented best budget in the current circumstances in which government servants were given the relief. Talking to the media, he said that the continuity of democracy should be prevailed in the country . It is not an appropriate action by the opposition to call the budget “IMF given budget” before its announcement. Rehman Malik said that people are better judge and let them decide about the budget. The language used by the opposition on the floor of the house , does not express that Pakistanis are an cultured nation.
“The opposition felt pain on the orders of Supreme Court regarding repaying of outstanding loans from defaulters and they made noise in national assembly just to avoid return of debts. If they think that federal government consist of robbers then definitely Punjab government must have comprising dacoits also”, Minister added. Malik advised the opposition to wait for their turn. He said that it is very unfortunate that those who want to weaken democracy, have become its part. He said that the budget was prepared after consultation of all allied partners as government enjoys the overwhelming majority in the parliament.
Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar said on Friday that an additional amount of Rs 600 billion for the provinces in the budget would envision a new prosper Pakistan. Talking to media, she said that the government had spent fundss in three major areas including energy, floods and law enforcement agencies.
The government has spent an amount of Rs 80 billion in energy sector last year which has now raised upto Rs 280 billion so that a common man should be provided electricity, she added. An amount of Rs 30 billion was spent on floods and others on law enforcement agencies, which she said was justified.
Federal Information Minister, Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan has said that PML-N was not qualified and prudent enough for the role of opposition, as it was only looking for power. Talking to the media in Islamabad, she was chagrin at the fact that PML-N had not learnt from its past mistakes, and it’s (PML-N) recent `unruly behavior should be an eye-opener for masses, regarding enemies of democracy. She said that despite this volatile anti-democratic behavior of PML-N, PPP had maintained its cool, because it wanted to redeem itself in eyes of masses, and make them (masses) aware of a ‘prudent political party’.
She cautioned that failure to debate and approve the budget in House would never devolve any benefits to official employees, nor would it help evolve any developmental projects. “As such this un-democratic attitude portrays that PML-N was hindering any move for relief to economy and masses”, she denounced. She said that despite the fact that opposition had a right to criticize and give tough time to the government, this attitude of flinging bangles at finance minister, and standing with their backs to the Speaker, was definitely not praiseworthy and prudent.
hairperson Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP), Farzana Raja while commenting on 4th consecutive budget of the present democratic government led by Pakistan Peoples party, said that keeping in view the present economic conditions of the country, it could rightly be termed as a pro-people budget.
She added that it is quite hearting that the President and the Prime Minister have expressed their firm resolve that the steps aim at providing relief to poor of the country would be continued. Hence, she said, no cut for the budgetary allocation for BISP is vital step towards this policy. She said that Rs. 65 billion have been allocated for BISP and it could be increased further as per requirements.
While commenting on the salient features of Federal Budget 2011-12, Ms. Farzana Raja said that the democratic government, despite financial constraints, has increased the salaries of government employees up to 15 % and 15 to 20% in the pensions. The step reflects that the government is aware of the difficulties, being faced by the people of Pakistan.
Farzana Raja said that growing inflation is a major issue which was needed to be dealt immediately. Therefore, she said, the decision of bringing the inflation down to 9 % from the present 12% would have long lasting impacts. She said that besides decrease in GST ratio and various duties, the tax net is also being increased and these steps would be resulted as decreased load on common man as well as existing tax-payers. It will also help country achieve economic self-sufficiency.
Chairperson BISP said that the democratic government, during the last fiscal year, had to confront with the devastation caused by flood, hike of hike prices in the international market and a very costly war against terrorism. Therefore, keeping in view the overall economic scenario, the budget could be termed as another success for the current government.