KARACHI (TLTP): Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) senior leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has said that the budget for 2021-22 has new taxes worth Rs343 billion.
Addressing a media briefing on Sunday, the former prime minister said when Imran Khan’s government came, new taxes worth Rs1,200 billion were imposed in the country but despite that, only an additional Rs800bn could be raised. “The budget is based on lies. It is a fake budget and the government will gut the people to complete its targets,” he said. “This is the country’s first government which is lying so brazenly and has no shame in doing so,” he added.
The PML-N leader said that the government claims revenues of Rs1,150 billion, but has not specified the source of this income. Abbasi, providing his own figures, claimed that the government which is touting a 24 percent increase in income, could not increase income by 20 percent even in the last three years.
Speaking of LNG plants, he said that the government claims they have contributed to losses but the State Bank report states that they were fruitful. “And now they have taxed LNG as well.” He lamented the people were purchasing wheat flour at Rs35 per kilogramme in 2018, which had now shot up to Rs80-85 per kg. Abbasi said that the last two years have seen 20 million people fall below the poverty line, including a large number of government employees. He said that in the last three years, more than five million people have been rendered jobless.
He said with taxes on sugar, the price of the commodity will rise further and warned of the prices of milk and dairy products also witnessing an increase. “All this is happening because the finance minister wishes to complete his target,” he said.
He said this very same minister had acknowledged two months ago that the government had harmed the economy. “Now after having secured the job, he is blaming past governments for the destruction of the economy,” he added.
Abbasi said that the real beneficiaries of the budget are the “construction mafia”. “The construction industry is the one where there will be no questions asked. This budget is simply an ATM budget, which will fund their ATMs,” he said, referring to the party’s wealthy supporters. “These are the very same ‘ATMs’ that steal from the pharmaceutical sectors and rob the sugar sector.”