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Sherry Rehman disappointed over ‘non-serious’ mini budget

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Peoples Party Senator Sherry Rehman had expressed grave reservations about the state of public finances and the lack of vision in the mini-budget presented by the government.

“It’s a non-serious, black market budget. We urge the government not to take Pakistan into the dark ages,” she said while addressing the Senate.

She said that government was expecting change from the incumbent government but has instead received increase in gas prices, borrowing and reduction in development expenditures along with sanctions for large businesses.

She also expressed concern over market uncertainty, and questioned the measures being taken by the government to reduce the current account deficit and burdening debt.

Ms Rehman said that the government would have lashed out if the PPP had proposed the same budget. She also asked how increasing indirect taxes would serve the poor.

“Had the same budget been proposed by us, the present govt would be lashing out at us, highlighting the plight of the poor. How is your jacking up of indirect taxes serving the poor then?” she stated.

Terming it as a ‘status quo budget’, she said the budget reduces public expenditures, increases gas prices and imposes over Rs90 billion in indirect taxes.

Expressing disappointment over the mini budget, she asked where was the blueprint of change as visioned by the government or whether Pakistan would be revisiting the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

“If there was ever a status quo budget this is the one. It cuts PSDP, and boosts gas prices, imposes 90 billion in indirect taxes.

“It encourages the black economy and looks away from big changes. Back to the IMF? Yes or no, what is the blueprint for change? None. Disappointing,” she said.

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