Imran Khan rejects ‘anti-people, anti-business’ budget

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman and former prime minister Imran Khan on Friday rejected federal budget for the new fiscal year, terming it “anti-people” and “anti-business”.

“The budget is based on “unrealistic assumptions” on inflation and economic growth. In the budget, the government has set the targets for inflation and economic growth at 11.5 per cent and 5pc, respectively,” he said in a series of tweets posted on the social media blogging site.

Imran went on to say that weekly inflation, as measured by the Sensitive Price Index (SPI), came in at about 24pc.

“[This] indicates that inflation will be between 25-30pc, which on the one hand will destroy the common man, and on the other hand, retard economic growth due to high interest rates.”

All tax reforms and pro-poor programmes introduced during the PTI government had been shelved, he lamented. “It is an unimaginative, purana (old) Pakistan budget creating more burdens and misery for the nation.”

Other PTI leaders also rejected the budget, terming it as “ill-planned”, saying it will unleash a new wave of inflation in the country.

Finance Minister Miftah Ismail on Friday unveiled the Rs9.5 trillion federal budget, aiming for economic growth of 5% amid pressure to control the fiscal deficit and secure International Monetary Fund bailout money.

Reacting to the budget, PTI Secretary General Asad Umar said that Finance Minister Miftah had made hollow claims of reducing inflation and no relief was given to the people by the “imported government”.

 

The former planning minister said “corrupt rulers” have passed on the burden of inflation to the masses.

“Miftah Ismail had told the nation a few months back that the price of petrol should not be more than Rs137 but now it has gone up to Rs210,” he added.

Similarly, Asad said the prices of other commodities including electricity tariffs have also witnessed a sharp increase since the coalition government came into power.

“On the one hand there is a storm of inflation and on the other the economy is collapsing rapidly. Construction sector will come to a standstill and those associated with it will become unemployed.”

Citing massive depreciation of rupee against the dollar, he expressed fear that the country’s economic situation is fast deteriorating which he said could turn into Sri Lanka-like crisis.

Former energy minister Hammad Azhar expressing similar views said contrary to the claims of the government, the inflation rate will increase by 2%-3% while the GDP growth will drop to 2%-3% from current 6 per cent.

In a video statement, Hammad said the government’s claims that the budget will bring stability to the economy are based on “lies”.

He claimed that the country’s economy was on the verge of default due to political instability, adding that the budge was prepared in “haste”, which he said also lacked direction to steer the country out of crisis.

PTI Senator Shibli Faraz said the incumbent government did not have legitimacy to present the country’s budget, saying that they have destroyed economy within two months after ousting former prime minister Imran Khan through a vote of no-confidence.

He also reiterated that early elections were the only solution to stabilise the economy.

The post Imran Khan rejects ‘anti-people, anti-business’ budget appeared first on Pakistan Today.

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