ISLAMABAD :Senior PML-N leader and former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has criticized the government for its budget with ‘unworkable financial targets’, saying decision-makers in Islamabad were trying to fool the people. For the fiscal year 22-2021 budget manipulated statistics.
Addressing a press conference with other party leaders on Sunday, former Prime Minister Abbasi said that new taxes worth Rs 383 billion have been imposed in the new budget, out of which the amount of indirect taxes is Rs 265 billion which shows that The poor will have to bear it too.
He added that no concrete sources have been identified to meet the targets set by the government in terms of revenue generation claims.
Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said that the government has not been able to increase its net income by even 20% in the last three years and now he claims that he will increase it by 24% in the new financial year.
“Budget figures show that the government will receive Rs 252 billion through privatization, but we cannot generate revenue by selling assets,” he said.
Calling it an “ATM budget”, the former prime minister said it benefited those who looted national wealth and created a shortage of sugar, alleging that the budget was made for friends.
The PML-N leader questioned how the provinces would stop their development works and distribute the revenue. The provincial surplus was earlier Rs 240 billion and now it was Rs 570 billion.
He said that liquefied natural gas (LNG) is an important sector for the production of products and the government has imposed a sales tax of 17% on it. The tax collection target cannot be achieved without an increase.
Abbasi further demanded that the Finance Minister make public the comparison of 2018 and current export figures.
He said that when PML-N was in power, Pakistan had grown by 6% and trade deficit was Rs 35 billion while now it is Rs 30 billion. The main reason is that there is no growth now.
“We are still net importers of food items, so how did the crops grow on a large scale?” He said, dismissing the government’s claims of large-scale harvests. Our cotton production is between 12 million and 7 million bales. Do you call it a bumper crop?
He alleged that the budget figures did not really mean anything to the government as there would be another finance minister till the next budget is presented.
“In the three years of the government, 20 million people have fallen below the poverty line. The current rulers have no strategy to reduce the rising electricity, gas and water bills,” he said.
He said the construction mafia was reaping basic benefits in the budget, with the PML-N leader alleging that the government had allowed people to invest in areas where there was a general amnesty and black money houses. While the poor cannot afford to buy their own homes.
On the subject of electoral reform, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi alleged that the last election results were stolen through the Transmission System (RTS), the electronic voting machines that the government wanted would work.
Responding to a question, he criticized the passage of the C-Pac Authority Bill and the ban on holding its chief accountable, saying, “You cannot question its chief, on the contrary, you can question the former prime minister.” And convict another former prime minister.
On the occasion, former Finance Minister Muftah Ismail said that the government’s decision to use the money raised through privatization would be a completely wrong move, it is like a businessman who earns Rs one lakh a day and sells his personal car. So he will not take into account the sale of his vehicles in his income, the government on the contrary is adding the income from the sale of assets to the income.
Muftah Ismail said that the government could have reduced the income tax on the salaried class in the budget but it was not done