PML-N damns PTI budget saying it’s based on lies
Khaqan Abbasi says Rs383 billion new taxes imposed: Laments govt has no plan to tackle inflation and bring down power, gas tariff
Shahid Khaqan Abbasi talking to newsmen.
Former prime minister and PML-N senior leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has damned the PTI government’s budget for FY2021/22 saying it is based on lies. He said the pivotal point in the budget is how to increase government revenue by 24% as the government has imposed Rs383 billion new taxes belying its claim of imposing no new tax, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
Mr Abbasi was talking to a presser in Karachi on Sunday. He said the PTI’s fourth Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin had repeated the 12 years old budget speech which he delivered in the PPP reign. He asked the government what plan did it have to bring down the electricity, gas tariff and inflation?
He lamented that the PTI government blamed the previous government of the PML-N for economic ills, but the fact was that every economic indicator of the present government was lower when compared to the previous PML-N government.
He said the economic growth rate was lower than the growth rate in 2018. He said the present budget was based on lies. He revealed that they were told that the government revenue would be Rs5,829 billion but the estimated figure for government revenue was Rs4,963 billion whereas government revenue stood at Rs4,698 billion.
The PML-N stalwart said that in the past, the government had also made false claims of the revenue. He said all emphasis of the budget was on increasing government revenues by 24%. He said this claim was being made by the government which had failed to raise the revenue by even 20% in three years.
He said that revenue could not be generated by selling public assets. He said during PML-N’s five-year tenure, the budget deficit was Rs7,500 billion while in three-year tenure of the PTI the budget deficit was at Rs10,000 billion. He claimed that no minister could deny his assertions.
He said there was 12pc inflation in the country while the government was claiming about more revenues. He said that the government would get Rs252 billion proceeds through privatization process. He said ‘you cannot generate income by selling assets.’ He said that rumours about selling power plants installed in Nawaz Sharif’s tenure were doing the rounds. He said the Rs250 billion power plant was Nawaz’s gift to the nation.
He said in the Rs900 billion development budget, there was Rs570 billion surplus budget. He said that the provinces would not spend the budget. From where they could repay the money, he asked. He said last year there was Rs244 billion surplus budget, this year it was Rs570 billion. He said the federal government was hoping that the provinces would not carry out development work and there would be saving of Rs570 billion. He said that development budget of the provinces had been decreased.
He criticized the government for levying Rs383 billion new taxes. He said the PTI government repeatedly said that it will not impose new taxes but it had put the burden of Rs265 billion indirect taxes on the people.
He said government income was not increasing since last year. He said the government could be able to generate revenue if it would hike the prices of petrol and diesel by Rs30 per liter. He said tax was also levied on crude oil. He blasted government for imposing 17% tax on LNG.
He said that the government even levied tax on mobile phone calls and Internet. But later withdrew it on the recommendation of some ministers. He said that 17% levy slapped on the import of machinery.
Mr Abbasi said that the total exports of 2021 were lower than the exports made in 2018. He claimed that exports were not inched upward even a meagre one percent in 2021.
He said that Foreign Minister Tarin claimed that the agriculture sector grew and there was increase in crop yield. He wondered despite the government claim of better agricultural produce, the country was importing eatables instead of exporting them.
He said during PML-N tenure, 25 million ton wheat was produced and exported. He regretted that flour was being sold at more than Rs80 per kg. He said the eatables prices rose by 15%. He said that a poor man could not afford bread for one time.
He said the finance minister informed that 200 million people were living a life below the poverty line. He said even today government employees had come under the poverty line. The price of sugar has jumped from Rs53 to Rs120 per kg, he said adding that the government had also imposed tax on sugar.
He criticized the government for levying tax on milk and milk formula for babies. He said that prices of dairy products would increase after the imposition of tax on milk.
He said that the government wanted to achieve its fake target of revenue by levying taxes on poor people. He said in 2018, there was 21% tax on ghee while it was 51% in 2021.
Mr Abbasi said that the construction mafia would get benefit from the present budget. It is not a pro-poor budget, he added.