Treasury benches term budget pro-poor, growth-oriented; opposition criticizes specific budgetary steps


ISLAMABAD, May 03 (APP):The Senators from the treasury benches Thursday termed the federal budget for the financial
year 2018-19 as balanced, pro-poor and growth-oriented whilst the opposition criticized it as
anti-poor, anti-labour.
Resuming debate on the federal budget, Parliamentary leader of Pakistan Muslim League
(Functional)Syed Muzafar Hussain Shah said the country’s growth was low, inflation was high,
foreign exchange reserves were minimal and budget deficit was higher when the government
of Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz took over in 2013.
He said economic indicators had registered significant improvement during the tenure of
incumbent government. Agriculture sector development was specially focused during the tenure
of the incumbent government, he added.
He said that for the first time, agriculture sector growth had witnessed 3.8 percent growth
ratio while production of main crops including rice, sugarcane, wheat had also increased.
“The production targets of wheat, cotton had been achieved due to steps taken by the
government,” he added.
He said Pakistan has exported wheat for the first time in history, however, he lamented
that sugarcane farmers had not been given the announced price of the product.
He suggested to strengthen and streamline Pakistan Agriculture Research Council.
He also appreciated the higher allocation of Benazir Bhutto Income Support Programme
and steps taken by the government for the improvement of law and order situation in the
He suggested the government to decrease taxes on poultry industry and livestock.
Chaudhary Tanvir Khan congratulated the finance team for announcing such a
pro-people budget in difficult time.
He said he has forwarded 23 recommendations to finance committee and hoped that at
least his 17 recommendations would be incorporated in the final budget recommendations to
be forwarded to the National Assembly by Senate for implementation.
Deploring outburst during finance minister’s budget speech in the National Assembly, he
said the behavior of opposition was deplorable and condemnable.
Tanvir Khan said that law and order situation has registered marked improvement in the
country during the last five years and credit must be given to former Prime Minister Nawaz
Sharif on the accomplishment.
He said that the credit of eliminating loadshedding and starting mega development projects
goes to former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
Chaudhary Tanvir said that due respect should be given to the leaders, who had worked hard
for the development of the country. He said like Charter of Democracy, a charter of economy should
also be signed for country’s progress.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Senator Samina Saeed termed the budget anti-poor and anti labour.
She said it was unfortunate that budget had been presented without announcing the National Finance
Commission (NFC) Award.
She claimed that additional burden had been put on the poor segments of the society.
She also criticized the federal government for not focusing on the education and health
Pakistan People’s Party Parliamentarian Senator Imamuddin Shouqeen said that the present
government had no moral justification to present federal budget.
He also criticized the government for announcing tax amnesty scheme. Nothing had been announced
in the budget for the benefit of middle class, he added.
He claimed figures mentioned in the budget document had no relation with reality.

Participating in Budget debate, Senator Mian Raza Rabbani said there was no need to announce the federal budget as presenting budget is breach of the privilege on the incoming Parliament.
He criticized the government for not announcing the National Finance Commission Award (NFC). Development funds had been slashed by 20 percent. He termed budget anti- labor and people-enemy. “Minimum wages of the labor had not been increased
by the government,” he added.
Rabbani also criticized increasing levy on petroleum products announced by the government in the federal budget. It was unfortunate that 18th amendment had been roll backed by the government.
He said that the government had not allocated enough funds for the education and health sectors.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Brig. (R) John Kenneth Williams said that no relief had been announced for commonman in
the budget. “This budget is not catering the requirements of the majority of the people in the country,” he added.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Nauman Wazir Khattak said that nothing had been announced in the budget for the
He suggested the government to announce 3 percent funds in the National Finance Commission Award for FATA.
Jamiat-Ulema-e-Islam (F) Molvi Faiz Muhammad said wealth should be distributed among the masses as per Islamic
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Fida Muhammad rejected the budget as nothing had been announced in it for poor.
He said the budget is not people friendly.