Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Federal budget is a copied document: PPP leader

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Senator and former Senate Vice President Saleem Mandviwala said that the 2021-22 federal budget is “copied” from previous budgets presented by the government of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), saying that the federal government had no role in this.

Mandviwala said Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin admitted that the agreements signed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) were wrong. He said it was ironic that IMF people were negotiating with IMF people. He also stated that Pakistan’s agenda was removed from the IMF board meeting.

The PPP senator said there was no relief for the poor in the budget. He said that in 2013 the country’s exports reached $25 billion. Seven years have passed, but governments have failed to increase exports, he said. He said it was a shame that the money sent to the country by Pakistanis abroad was more than the country’s exports.

Mr. Mandviwala said that, on the one hand, the government claimed that it did not impose new taxes on the budget, but, on the other hand, it imposed Rs 727 billion in indirect taxes.

Mandviwala lamented that three years had passed, but Pakistan was still on the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) gray list against terrorism and there was no improvement.

He particularly criticized the imposition of taxes on goods purchased online and crude oil. Imposing a 17 percent sales tax on crude oil means the price of oil will also rise further, he said, adding that gas and gasoline are also likely to become more expensive because of the government’s move.

The PPP chairman said that the PTI government taxed all household items, utilities and services used by the people.

“Taxing every call, SMS and internet into the budget and then withdrawing it after there is a negative reaction the next day is proof that the government has no plans and that it continues to move forward at the expense of the well being the people of Pakistan,” he said.

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