ISLAMABAD 29th June: The opposition parties accused the government of having the budget for the new fiscal year passed in the National Assembly through manipulation.
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari maintained that the budget was passed through “rigging”.
“The government orchestrated this unprecedented rigging and forcibly had the budget passed,” he told reporters after the National Assembly session.
The PPP chairman alleged that Speaker Asad Qaiser was biased and did not even issue the production orders for two detained assembly members belonging to Waziristan.
“Even the [National Assembly] speakers during the dictatorship of Gen Zia and Gen Musharraf weren’t this biased.”
Bilawal feared that the budget would push more people below the poverty line and create unemployment.
“I request the people to take to the streets against the government’s policies,” he added.
The PPP chairman further maintained that the federal government had “attacked” Sindh by imposing a 15% tax on the Thar coal project.
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Senior Vice President Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, while speaking during the assembly session, said the new taxes imposed by the government in the budget would increase inflation and poverty.
“The devaluation of the rupee has further increased the country’s loans,” he added. “This IMF-budget will leave the country in shambles.”
PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal told reporters that both the upper and lower houses of parliament had the right to legislation and the Senate had been bypassed in the case of the Finance Bill.
He noted that the government had reduced the funds for the education and healthcare sectors and increased the Prime Minister Secretariat’s budget.