Debate on Federal Budget 2023-24 begins in NA

ISLAMABAD, Jun 12 (APP): The National Assembly on Monday began general debate on the Federal Budget 2023-24, with both the treasury and opposition benches actively participating in the discussion.

Following the parliamentary tradition, Leader of the Opposition Raja Riaz Ahmed took the floor to kick-start the budget debate.

During the proceedings, Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s Salahuddin congratulated Minister for Finance Senator Ishaq Dar and his entire team for presenting the federal budget.

Expressing his optimism, Salahuddin hoped that the budget would provide relief to the citizens. He highlighted the import of crude oil from Russia, which would help reduce oil prices.

He prayed for the success of the negotiations between the government and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), mentioning that the finance minister had assured that they government had a backup plan (Plan B) in place if the talks failed.

Salahuddin praised the increase in the salaries of government employees in the budget, stating the step would bring relief to them. While acknowledging the positive aspects of the budget, he cautioned that the targets set might be overly ambitious.

He pointed out that although it had been claimed that there were no additional taxes, certain taxes, including withholding tax, had been increased.

He also highlighted the focus on agriculture, information technology, and industries in the budget, while stressing the need for a conducive environment to promote industrial growth in the country.

He welcomed the incentives provided to the overseas Pakistanis to boost remittances and appreciated the allocation for a university in Hyderabad in the Public Sector Development Programme.

He also appreciated that emphasis had been laid on women’s education in the budget.

Salahuddin requested the government to devise a detailed policy regarding the Pakistan Steel Mills. He expressed his desire for the privatization of all institutions that burdened the economy. He criticized the financial policies of the previous PTI government and condemned it for mayhem on May 9.

While affirming respect for the armed forces, he accused the PTI chairman of pursuing an anti-state agenda. He also spoke about the corruption of PTI leadership and said the public was deceived.

During his speech, he also highlighted the fact that the meeting of the Provincial Finance Commission had not been held for several years.

The House was adjourned to meet again on Tuesday.

APP Services