Economics & Business

Govt seeks approval for supplementary budget of over Rs 3086 billion

ISLAMABAD: The government has asked parliament to approve supplementary budget to the tune of over Rs 3086 billion flouting its own tall claims of austerity. It has been said in the documents presented by finance ministry in regard to current year’s supplementary budget that government incurred expenses beyond the budget outlay of Rs 2.477 trillion during the financial year 2010-11 but it also included technical supplementary grants amounting to Rs 2 trillion. Such grants don’t have direct impact on the budget.

On the other hand government incurred expenses over .386 trillion against regular and token supplementary grants. These expenses were independent of the budget approved for the fiscal 2010-11. The parliament has been now asked to accord approval to these heavy expenditures.

During the current fiscal year government had imposed ban on purchase of new vehicles and decoration of buildings. But government flouted this ban order on its own. Over a sum of Rs 500 million were spent on the decoration of Aiwan-e- Sadr, residences of Prime Minister in Lahore and Multan and government residences. Additional amount of Rs 24 billion was released to army for ongoing Al-Mizan operation in tribal areas.

Sources while citing to supplementary budget related documents told Pakistan Times that over 15.8 million rupees were spent on the decoration of Aiwan-e- Sadr and Rs 5.58 million on residences of prime minister in Lahore and Multan. These all expenses had been spent under head of civil works. As many as 7 new vehicles costing Rs over 13 million were made part of motorcade of Prime Minister with his special permission. These documents have exposed tall claims of austerity made by the government.

Meanwhile opposition and coalition allies belted out government over Budget of FY-2011-2012, berating incumbent executives for holding the hapless Parliament as hostage for three entire years. Taking part in the debate, PML-N’s Khawaja Asif said that, while PML-N had sacrificed considerably against the dictator ship of former President Pervez Musharraf, the incumbents had rather tainted the image of Parliament, by throwing all Parliamentary resolutions down the drain.

Berating the executives for holding a hapless and helpless parliament as hostage, he stressed the system of accountability for strengthening the federation’s democratic institutions and norms. The opposition leader also cited Rs. 270 million PM donation for flood relief, for which Rs260 million was used as publicity expense!

MQM’s Dr. Farooq Sattar also declared the budget for FY2011-2012 as against the aspirations of masses; however there can be special concessions as according to some situations. He stressed on a consensus between all political parties over the National economic affairs, and opined that government still can rectify any economic evil, through its conducive policies.

Presenting MQM recommendations on the occasion, he stressed on a just and balanced taxation system, and stressed on Provincial autonomy in order to combat the menace of extremism and separatist movements. The PPP, MNA, Raja Pervez Ashraf, while defending the budget, said that government had considered all pros and cons before preparing it in a balanced and conducive form.

Stressing that PPP had always practiced reconciliation, he said that a political consensus was must for Nation. He also announced that PPP had formed coalition with PML-Q, strictly in accordance with democratic norms, and said that government wanted an independent Judiciary at all times.

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Haroon Akram Gill

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