Opposition rejects ‘anti-people’ budget

Mumtaz Alvi
Thursday, Jun 13, 2024

ISLAMABAD: The opposition Wednesday rejected the budget as anti-people, saying those with Form 47 presented it, having no mandate to do so.

Talking to reporters outside the Parliament House after the budget was presented, the opposition rejected the budget as anti-people, saying those with Form 47 had presented it, having no mandate to do so.

Leader of the Opposition Omar Ayub Khan and senior PTI leader Ali Muhammad Khan charged that the budget did not meet the masses aspirations.

Omar Ayub, who has served as finance minister in the past, claimed that there is always mention of the budget volume and deficit, but in this budget no such thing is found. “They have presented a fake budget in parliament,” he claimed.

He continued that there had also been a constitutional violation for the first time in the House, as in accordance with Article 73 of the Constitution, the finance minister reads out from budgetary documents, including pink books, Economic Survey, which was not the case.

The opposition leader contended that the government claimed that there was surge in industrial production, whereas only last week, electricity had become costlier by Rs3.5 per unit and in such a situation, how could there be an increase in production.

About the last-minute PPP decision to attend the budget session, he said the PPP had stabbed in the back of the rulers. He alleged billions were pocketed by the caretakers by opening LCs for controversial wheat import.

Speaking on the occasion, Ali Muhammad Khan said that those with Form 47 had no right to present the budget and claimed the party with a two-thirds majority seats in the general elections had been forced to sit on the opposition benches.

Prior to presentation of the budget, in chat with the media in his chamber, Omar Ayub said that the incumbent government had destroyed the country’s economy. He said that lowest investment has been made in the history of the country. “The government has kept the dollar artificially at 275; essential commodities will be more expensive,” he maintained.

“We strongly condemn the defamation law in Punjab, as the Punjab Defamation Law is a poison for the freedom of the press. They (rulers) are stopping the freedom of the press by installing firewalls on social media,” he said.

The National Assembly would now meet again in the afternoon of June 20 to start the budget debate which would continue till June 25. The House is likely to pass the budget on June 28.