Voice of the Peo­ple

Pakistan Observer - - OPINION - JAVAID BASHIR

The Fed­eral Cab­i­net ap­proved the Rs. 4500 bil­lion na­tional bud­get. Prime Min­is­ter Nawaz Sharif presided over the meet­ing through video link from Lon­don. In­crease in the prices of items like cig­a­rettes, tea, dry milk, cos­met­ics, drinks and other es­sen­tials was ap­proved. The cre­ation of an or­ga­ni­za­tion by the name of FATA De­vel­op­ment Fo­rum was also ap­proved. Ru­pees 100 bil­lion were al­lo­cated for this project. Of the Rs. 45 tril­lion bud­get, Rs. 1675 bil­lion were al­lo­cated for the de­vel­op­ment projects. In­crease in salar­ies and pen­sions has also been con­sid­ered. I would sug­gest that govern­ment must take into con­sid­er­a­tion the in­fla­tion rate while in­creas­ing the salar­ies of govern­ment em­ploy­ees. Ac­cord­ing to sources the 3.5 % bud­get deficit has been recorded. Rs. 1500 bil­lion have been re­served for the pay­ment of loans and in­ter­est on them. Rs. 850 bil­lion have been al­lo­cated for de­fence ex­pen­di­ture. Rs. 245 bil­lion have been re­served for the Pen­sions and Rs. 170 bil­lion for sub­si­dies. SROs for tax ex­emp­tions will be elim­i­nated. I would sug­gest all the SROs grant­ing ex­emp­tions or de­duc­tions be elim­i­nated. In fact the au­thoity to is­sue SROs be taken away. I think the 2016 bud­get does not pro­vide any re­lief to the poor. Taxes have been im­posed and prices of com­modi­ties in­creased. The prices of ne­ces­si­ties were al­ready in­creased man­i­fold. The prices are out of the reach of the com­mon man. Worst kind of ex­ploita­tion of poor peo­ple is tak­ing place. The prices of pe­tro­leum prod­ucts have been de­creased world­wide. But the govern­ment has not de­creased the pe­tro­leum prod­ucts prices in pro­por­tion to in­ter­na­tional de­crease. The busi­nesses have not trick­led down the ben­e­fits to com­mon man. Our ex­ports rev­enue has shrunk due to sev­eral rea­sons. Govern­ment should re­move all the ob­sta­cles in the way of ex­ports pro­mo­tion. The im­ports vol­ume has been in­creased caus­ing de­crease in lo­cal in­dus­trial man­u­fac­tur­ing. We must pro­tect our lo­cal in­dus­tries to save for­eign re­serves. Pak­istan has rich min­eral re­sources which need to be ex­plored and ex­ploited for our ben­e­fit. We need to re­vamp and re­form Tax sys­tem. The rich, wealthy, busi­ness­men and in­dus­tri­al­ists be brought in the tax net. Widen­ing of tax net is linked with in­crease in rev­enue and col­lec­tion of taxes. The flight of cap­i­tal is a curse. It must be checked. We must re­duce the in­ci­dence of back money. Over all it is a dis­ap­point­ing bud­get for the com­mon man. —Via email

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