Budget speech disappoints people -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Budget speech disappoints people

Rawalpindi: Bemoaning the apathy of the federal government in failing to provide any substantial relief for the common man in the budget for fiscal year 2011-12, the general public expressed the fear that prices of all items would witness further increase in the coming days.

The government employees, who had been given a meagre 15% increase in their basic salaries, lamented the decision to this effect, saying that they demanded an increase of 100% in accordance with the current ratio of inflation.

The general public criticised the 2011-12 budget speech, saying there is no relief in it for the common man. They said that the government’s suggestion of decreasing GST to 16% from 17% is nothing. “If they wanted to reduce the GST then it should have been reduced by at least by 5 to 10%. This suggestion will not create a positive result to overcome the genie of inflation in the country,” they said.

People glued to their TV sets in the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad to listen to the budget speech of Federal Minister for Finance Abdul Hafeez Sheikh in the hope of getting some relief, but to no avail.

All Pakistan Clerks Association (APCA) President Muhammad Afzal rejected 15% increase in salaries of government employees. “The government should have increased salaries according to the prevailing inflation ratio in the country,” he said.

He said that the budget is a joke with the public. “In fact, the government does not want to provide any relief to the general public,” he lamented.

All Pakistan Traders Union President Shaikh Muhammad Siddique opposed the budget for fiscal year 2011-12 and said that people would have to bear further inflation in the country. He said that there is no planning and no preparation to provide relief to the public. The government does not want to reduce its extra expenses so how could people get relief in this situation, he added.

Muttahida Transport Union President Malik Muhammad Sultan said that in every country people wait for the budget to get relief, but in Pakistan the case is different. People were expecting that the finance minister would announce an end to electricity and gas loadshedding and other relief measures for the common man, he said.

Raja Nazakat Hussain, a government employee standing outside an electronics shop, rejected the 15% increase in salaries. He said that they were hoping 100% increase in salaries due to unprecedented inflation in the country. The prices of all commodities are out of the common man’s reach. “We will not be able to buy kitchen items during the next fiscal year,” he added.

Muhammad Furqan Abbasi, a shopkeeper, said that the government should have reduced salaries and other extra expenses of ministers. By doing so, the government could have reduced its own expenditures to some extent, he added.

Shazia Saeed, a housewife, rejected the 1% decrease in GST, saying that prices of all kitchen items were already high. She said that the government should reduce the GST to only 5% to provide a visible relief to the public.

“Would I be able to get food items at cheaper rates from today,” Noor Zaman, a water carrier, posed the question after listening to the budget speech outside a shop.

“A layman has nothing to do with the budget, as it is something meant for those who are at the helm of affairs,” Noor Zaman said. He added: “They only befool people like us, as there is no relief for us in any budget.”
Source: The News