The present government has presented its fourth budget of Rs 43.95 trillion. This budget has a deficit of Rs 1276 billion. There was a hope that the government will present a budget for the welfare of people with respect to recent national circumstances. That the problems of the common man will be addressed in it. The government would give a clear line of action to solve the financial issues of people and try to give them basic human rights. But all this wishful thinking came to an end after the budget speech. This budget can be regarded as traditional and administrative. But if we call it a welfare budget, it will be simply an injustice. All the facts and figures behind this budget are imaginary. They do not have any relation with reality. The estimations of income and expenditures are incorrect because the government has failed in calculating the real number of total population. It will not be wrong to say that the distance between the budget and people is like the distance between the air conditioned hall of the Senate and the heat of Multan. It is quite shameful that there is only one doctor for 1308 persons and 1 bed for 1613 persons. Every fifth person does not have access to medical facilities. The budget for education, health, environment and human development projects should be increased. But the government has entangled itself in the labyrinth of taxation to fulfil the expenditures of administration. The allocation of 2.2% for education is surprising. Where literacy rate is 57% and 43% are uneducated; such a little amount can only destroy the department. We are far behind from Bangladesh, Bhutan and Sri Lanka in education. It means that we shall not be among the educated nations in the next fifty years.
The resources have not been divided fairly according to the constitution. The government has also been unsuccessful in giving the shares of NFC award to the provinces. It has increased a sense of inferiority and hatred against the federation in provinces. What is the budget? To take loan from the IMF and World Bank, and then pay interest on loans? And then take another loan to pay the interest. 42% of our budget is allocated to pay interest on loans only. It is extremely shameful. To pay the interest on loans 1360 billion rupees have been allocated. For this, new taxes of 1148 billion rupees have been imposed. 90 types of withholding taxes have been imposed on the common man in this budget that has been dictated by World Bank and IMF. The prices of essential commodities shall rise unimaginably. People are already living from hand to mouth. It has become difficult for them to pay utility bills. The increase in the salaries of government servants is very low. How can low-paid workers face the challenge of high prices with only a 10% increment in their salaries? The minimum salary of a labourer should be 20000 rupees in view of high inflation. But the government has fixed is at only 14000 rupees. And still there are no signs of implementation. I shall accept Ishaq Dar as an economist when he will make the budget of a family in Rs14000.
Here, the standard for measuring the poverty is ridiculous. The daily income is 2 dollars per capita. All the figures of income and expenditures presented in the budget are false. So, no improvement can be expected in the economy. It is as if we tell the host about the arrival of the guests but do not tell them the number of guests. Agriculture is the backbone of our economy and 64% of our total population is associated with it. The government has announced to revolutionise the agricultural structure several times but could not achieve the targets of previous year. In fact, the policies of the government are unable to satisfy the farmers. The government is giving an impression that it has given a big relief to farmers only after lowering the prices of fertilizers. But there is a complete silence about the prices of seeds, pesticides and other agricultural things in the budget. Government has announced an agricultural package for farmers. According to a survey of World Bank, 5% landlords have occupied 64% of agricultural land. Landlords shall take the advantage of this package.342 billion rupees will be taken by landlords. 20 million youths are jobless in the country. But the government hasn’t paid any attention, nor does it have any planning for them. FATA and the tribal areas always have been deprived of the Government’s attention. That’s why they have a sense of hatred and lack of confidence against the government. The budget of only 100 billion rupees for FATA is insufficient.
Unfortunately, such kinds of people have been ruling the country since independence, that have confidence in Jewish businessmen and money lenders but do not trust Allah Almighty. They fix the prices of our commodities. Utility bills are decided according to their dictation. Prices of oil and gas are fixed in accordance to their wishes. Now, the situation is that we have become a victim of Jewish conspiracies. There is only one solution to this problem that we should leave the economy based on interest and adopt the Islamic economy. The economy based on interest can’t give a relief to the people. How can an economy based on loans flourish?
The wars in the world shall be fought on water in the future. But in our budget, a little amount has been allocated to build dams and water resources. There is nothing for the poor people of Punjab, Sindh, KPK and Balochistan in this budget. People are coming to the cities for a better future. Because there is no facility in the villages. The future of cities is also dark. There is no clean water or favourable atmosphere. There is no road map for decreasing unemployment in the budget. 20 million children are not going to school. Those who are going to schools do not have any future. Highly qualified youths are jobless. We can say that our educational institutions are producing jobless people. There will be an army of unemployed people in the future. It is necessary to create 18000 new jobs daily, so that every jobless person can get a job. But it is not in the priorities of the government. No amount has been allocated for this purpose in the budget.