Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhary Fawad Hussain has said the PTI government under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan has put the country on the right track with the economy witnessing accelerated growth.
Participating in the budget debate in the National Assembly on Tuesday, he said the opposition parties have the right to criticize the government but responsibility also rests with it to make positive contributions to the system. He said the opposition should come to positive politics to collectively take the country forward.
The Information Minister once again invited the opposition parties to sit with the government on important matters including electoral and judicial reforms. He said the government will welcome the suggestions of the opposition on the electoral reforms. He said we want to strengthen the Election Commission of Pakistan. He said the use of electronic voting machines is important to ensure transparency and fairness in the elections.
Dubbing the period of 2008-18 as a period of darkness for Pakistan, Chaudhary Fawad Hussain said the previous governments ruined the economy through their policies. He pointed out that the country’s loans were six thousand billion rupees by 2008 which increased to twenty six thousand billion rupees by 2018. He said today the situation is that we are paying two thousand billion rupees per year in debt servicing. In addition, nine hundred billion rupees are being paid as capacity payments to the power plants which will increase to 1500 billion rupees by 2023.
Chaudhary Fawad Hussain said under the 18th amendment, a big share of revenue goes to the provinces. He said 1600 to 1700 billion rupees went to the Sindh province over the last two years under the NFC. He said another 700 to 750 billion rupees will go to the province during the next fiscal year. He however regretted that the provincial government there has done nothing worthwhile for provision of basic amenities to the people. He said this is the reason that the Prime Minister has stood up against corruption.
Participating in the budget debate, Rahat Amanullah Bhatti, said the elected representatives have a responsibility to launch a sustained campaign against power pilferage and to provide clean drinking water in their constituencies.
Jamaluddin said the government should enhance the salaries of all employees by twenty percent.
Ahsan Iqbal said unrealistic targets have been set in the budget 2021-22. He said the government will not be able to achieve the tax collection target of 5.8 trillion rupees. He said efforts should be made to attract foreign investment and bolster the country’s exports. He said additional funds should be allocated for the Higher Education Commission.
Tahir Sadiq said the salaries of employees should be enhanced by twenty five percent. He said the local government system should be restored to address the problems of people at grassroots level.
Shazia Marri said the budget is anti-people and anti-farmers. She said the figures have been fudged in the budget.
Ali Nawaz Awan said the entrepreneurs are appreciative of the government's pro-business policies. He said we have given incentives to the export oriented industries to make their products competitive in the international market.
Rao Muhammad Ajmal Khan said the farmers should be supported to enhance the agriculture productivity to meet the requirements of growing population. He said the government should ensure implementation of the agriculture transformation plan.
Syed Faiz ul Hassan said reforms should be introduced in the institutions with the aim to facilitate the people.
Syed Mustafa Mahmud appreciated the government for coming up with an electric vehicle policy. He however said we need to invest more on building the necessary infrastructure for electric vehicles. This, he said, will reduce our oil imports and address the issue of smog.
Muhammad Sanaullah Khan Masti Khel said the country’s economy is showing improvement despite of prevailing Covid-19 situation. He said Pakistan will now witness rapid industrialization under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project. He said it is the first time that a government has diverted resources towards the development of backward areas.
Muhammad Anwar said emphasis should be given to the construction of road infrastructure in the neglected areas.
Nafeesa Inayatullah Khan Khattak called for the establishment of special cyber courts to look after the cyber-crime cases.
Chaudhry Iftikhar Nazir urged the government to focus on providing special relief to the farmers.
Saif ur Rehman termed the budget balanced and people friendly. He said all the economic indicators are showing positive growth.
Agha Rafiullah demanded that discussion on budgetary proposals should be taken in the finance meeting before its presentation in the House. He said that the Pakistan People’s Party always took effective measures for the welfare of the poor segment of the country.
Usman Khan Tarrakai said that the government has presented a very positive and balanced budget in the very difficult time as Covid-19 has affected the economy of the entire world. He said the government's effective measures to control the prices of all essential items to provide relief to the common man are commendable.
Ali Gohar Khan said accountability should be held across the board instead of selective accountability.