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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Imran Khan rejects coalition govt’s budget

Imran Khan terms the budget "anti-people" and "anti-business.", based on "unrealistic assumptions" about inflation and economic growth

PTI Chairman Imran Khan on Friday rejected the budget for the new fiscal year, calling it “anti-people” and “anti-business.”

The former Prime Minister said it was based on “unrealistic assumptions” about inflation and economic growth.

The coalition government has set inflation and economic growth targets in the budget at 11.5 per cent and 5 per cent, respectively.

Read more: Finance Minister Miftah Ismail presents budget for the fiscal year 2022-23

He said weekly inflation came in at about 24 per cent, as measured by the Sensitive Price Index (SPI).

Taking to Twitter, Khan said, “We reject this anti-people and anti-business budget, presented by the imported government. Budget is based on unrealistic assumptions on inflation (11.5 per cent) and economic growth (5 per cent). Today’s SPI of 24 per cent indicates that inflation will be between 25-30 per cent which on the one hand will destroy the common man”.

“And, on the other hand, retard economic growth due to high interest rate. All our progressive tax reforms and pro-poor programmes such as Sehat card, Kamyab Pakistan are being shelved,” the PTI chairman maintained.

Separately, PTI leader and former finance minister Hammad Azhar said the budget was passed “in haste” and did not hold “special importance,” adding that inflation would rise by 2-3 per cent while the GDP growth rate would fall from 6 per cent to 2-3 per cent.

Azhar said the country is on the verge of “bankruptcy,” claiming that the government “will bring a storm of inflation and unemployment the way they are proceeding.”

“The direction for taking the country out of the economic crisis and the uncertainty that they (government) created, which should have been in the budget, was not present. The feeling of uncertainty prevails [through] this budget.”

The PTI leader alleged that all the facts in the budget were incorrect.

Meanwhile, minister for planning and development Asad Umar alleged the ‘imported government’ had imposed an inflation burden on the people in the form of the budget.

“The corrupt rulers have nothing to provide relief to the people while Finance Minister Miftah Ismail tells several lies about reducing inflation.”

Referring to SPI, Umar asked, “If this is the situation before the budget [is passed], what will happen afterward?”

The budget for the upcoming fiscal year was presented in the National Assembly by Finance Minister Miftah Ismail. During his speech, Ismail said the government had to move towards “sustainable growth.”

For FY23, the overall deficit is budgeted at Rs3,798 billion, which is 4.9 per cent of the GDP. Last year, the deficit was budgeted at 6.3 per cent of the GDP, Dawn reported.