PML-N wants no tax increase in budget 2021-22
The PML-N has demanded that the upcoming budget should not contain any increase in tax in order to avoid further burdening the people.
The PML-N Thursday issued a report namely ‘Sinking Economy under Imran Khan’ with its 10 demands for the budget 2021-22.
The report demanded that the budget should;
“Not contain any increase in any taxes or tax rates in order to avoid further burdening our people.
Refrain from increasing utility rates, especially electricity tariffs and ensure the competitiveness of our products in the international markets. Bring back tube well power rates to Rs5.35 per kwh as maintained by PML-N.
Enhance development spending focusing on CPEC, water sector and completion of existing schemes to rationalize the throw forward.
Facilitate starting construction of Karachi-Peshawar ML1 railway line under CPEC as proposed under PML-N.
Increase funding for Higher Education above inflation.
Exempt 5 export sectors from Sales tax as was done by PMLN.
Economize on current expenditure through improved management and reform of SOEs, greater economy in operating costs and better management of Government debt.
Make the Power sector Reform Plan public and open for public debate.
Bring special incentives for SMEs, and the agriculture sector and sustain, in fact, broaden incentives for export promotion for nascent exports.
Enhance relief measures through the BISP/Ehsaas Program for the poor.”
The report presented a Review of PTI’s economic policies and performance.
It reads, “The people of Pakistan have experienced a major decline in their quality of life. When PML-N left in 2018 the size of the Pakistani economy was $313 billion. After 3 years, Imran Khan has only managed to reduce this to $296 billion or by 5.5% even as our population has increased by 7.5%. This is a direct reduction in the income and purchasing power of Pakistanis by 13%. This is the first time in our history that our GDP in dollars is reduced even after 3 years.
In our 5 years, PML-N had increased growth from 2.8% to 5.8%, reduced inflation from 11.8% to 3.9% and doubled tax receipts from Rs 1946 billion to almost Rs 3900 billion. In 3 years, in spite of high inflation, PTI’s tax collection has remained stagnant and has decreased as a percentage of GDP. PTI has tripled inflation, increased food inflation more than 5 times PMLN’s rate, and substantially reduced economic growth. After three years, even if we believe PTI’s controversial numbers, they have reduced real rupee GDP on a per capita basis.”
Giving details about GDP, it says, “Pakistan’s GDP grew by 5.8% in PML-N’s last year (2018), the highest in 16 years. In addition, GDP growth consistently remained above 4% in each of PMLN’s 5 years. GDP growth has significantly declined during PTI’s tenure with 2.1% growth in 2019 and -0.5% growth in 2020, the lowest since 1952. PTI is claiming 3.9% growth now in 2021 but this claim is being challenged by independent economists. Even if PTI’s claim is to be accepted, average GDP growth under PTI is 1.8% in 3 years, which is below the population growth rate.”
Comparing unemployment and poverty during the time of the PML-N government and the PTI regime, the report says, “The wrong policies and mismanagement of the PTI Government has increased unemployment and poverty in the country. Consequently, 5 million Pakistanis have lost their jobs and an additional 20 million people pushed below the poverty line. When PMLN left the government, only 3.5 million people remained unemployed in Pakistan. This is because PMLN created millions of job opportunities in Pakistan during our 5 years. Yet in 3 years PTI has made an additional 5 million people unemployed. Today the number of unemployed is around 8.5 million and the rate of unemployment is around 15%, which is the highest unemployment rate in our history.
When PMLN got the responsibility of the federal government in 2013, 75 million Pakistanis were below the poverty line. After 5 years of hard work trying to uplift the poor, PMLN was able to lift 20 million people out of abject poverty. Yet in less than 3 years, PTI’s anti-poor and ill-thought-through policies have forced 20 million more people into abject poverty. Thus, all the gains PMLN made towards reducing poverty have been washed away by Imran Khan.”
It further compares inflation and real wages stating, “Real wages for unskilled workers have fallen by 18% over the last three years. Federal and Provincial public development spending in relation to GDP has also almost halved to 2.5% of the GDP only, further contributing to job contraction.
On top of this, high inflation, particularly the highest food inflation in a decade, has put an unbearable burden on the masses who have difficulty now in having two proper meals a day. Atta (wheat) price has increased to Rs 70 per kilo and sugar price to Rs 110 per kilo since our government left. This is a direct consequence of the PTI government’s wrong policies, being hand in glove with mafias, as well as mismanagement and ineffectiveness in maintaining the supply chain. The main reasons for this incredible increase in prices, especially of food items, are the constant and large increases in the price of power and gas, the printing of money, and the largest budget deficits in Pakistan’s history.