Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Govt didn’t tell PPP ‘anything’ about budget: Khurshid Shah

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Senior PPP leader Khursheed Shah addresses a ceremony in Sukkur, on December 24, 2021. — PPI
Senior PPP leader Khursheed Shah addresses a ceremony in Sukkur, on December 24, 2021. — PPI 

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has voiced its concerns over not being consulted by the government on the upcoming federal budget 2024-25 — which is expected to be announced on June 12.

Expressing reservations over the matter, PPP central party leader Syed Khurshid Ahmed Shah said: “The government neither told us anything related to the budget nor took us into confidence.”

“We don’t know what the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) is doing about privatisation policy, taxes, developmental program,” said the PPP leader.

Shah further said that the PPP does not know anything in terms of relief. He said he’s unaware whether the government is making the budget or the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) budget is being imposed.

The PPP leader said that their proposals should have been included in the federal budget at any cost. “People will ask us what have we done. Will we tell them that we don’t even know about it?” he questioned.

Shah further said that the Bilawal Bhutto-led party will have to see politically what decision to take regarding the budget — which will be announced on June 12.

On the other hand, Minister of State for Finance Ali Pervez Malik rebuffed the reports about the further increase in tax on the salaried class, saying that they are baseless and false.

Speaking during Geo News’ Naya Pakistan programme, Malik said that the government is focusing on fair a tax system.

Gandapur to not withdraw tobacco tax

A day earlier, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Chief Minister Ali Amin Gandapur refused political pressure of his party to withdraw the tobacco cess and provincial excise duty on tobacco companies.

Gandapur told the party leaders that he will not tolerate any obstacle to increasing the provincial funds.

The KP government has imposed Rs50 as provincial excise duty on tobacco to collect an amount of Rs5 billion. Similarly, the tobacco cess rate has been revised from Rs6 to Rs50 per kilograms but the provincial cabinet fixed it at Rs25 per kg.

The decision will help the provincial government collect Rs7.5 billion for the province as a whole.

‘I am not some who relies on IMF’: Nawaz

On the other hand, PML-N President on Saturday criticised the IMF conditions, questioning how will the policies not be difficult for the poor if they are accepted.

“I am not someone who relies on the IMF,” said the three-time prime minister.

He also expressed satisfaction over the role of the federal and Punjab governments in reducing prices of essential commodities, saying that Pakistan would soon come out of crises.

The PML-N president said such policies that bring down the prices of electricity and gas should be framed. “Maryam Nawaz played a key role in bringing down inflation by not letting wheat price increase,” he said.

Nawaz further said that the overall inflation was dipping and the stock market was “unprecedentedly” skyrocketing.

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