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Archive for June, 2023

                     BUDGET by Inayet Ullah

The budget for the year 2023-2024 for Pakistan has been announced. As in all previous budgets, the present budget was also presented saying “relief has been provided for the low-income people and salaries” have been increased”. Taking, for example, on average, an overall 25% increase has been given to all salaries. What happens then? Subsequently and almost immediately starts intermittent imposition of taxes, increases in current taxes, increases in the rates of petrol, electricity, gas, telephone etc., so in about three months the total of all increases amounts to 50%. Now, considering 25% relief and 50% liabilities, the net result is 25% increase in financial liabilities. In other words, 25% more miseries than the people are currently in.

For the first time, in the history of Pakistan, the budget was presented without the precedent debate in the house, where criticisms are made, and suggestions to change a portion of the budget, are made, the budget was adopted immediately after the presentation, the same day. The advent of the budget is a piece of horrifying news for the people as it is going to make them face greater miseries.

As always before, development projects have been declared and huge funds have been allocated for them. In all previous budgets, projects of Tarraqiati programs were declared and huge amounts were allocated for them, and starting times, and completion dates were given, but when the completion date arrived almost all of them were half completed or, or some of them were even less than half completed, and all allocated money had been “spent”. More money was, therefore, needed to complete them. and even if the projects were completed in an extended time, the costs of the projects were doubled. This vicious circle continues. Billions and billions of public money is being wasted (or appropriated) in these “tarraqiati programs” with no tarraqi in sight. We are now sick of these “tarraqiati programs”. We have had enough of them and can bear no more “tarraqi”. I wish we are spared of these “tarraqiati programs”.

Let us look at another aspect of the budget. What is the budget, by the way? I think a budget is a document containing prospective income and expenditure for day to day running of an organization or a country and making programs for creating funds to finance some development projects. When I was in Saudi Arabia, in one of the years of my stay the Saudi government declared that there would be no budget that year and all financial matters would continue to be governed as before. In the circumstances prevailing at present in our country, there should be either no budget making at present or a budget should be made for how to manage to run the country with the currently available resources, without any development projects until the time we are able to do so, and the allocation money for these so-called development projects can be utilized to provide basic necessities (food, clothes and shelter) to the people of the country which they are in dire need of. A surplus budget is fine, but in a deficit budget, the deficit will have to be filled from the poor man’s pocket.

God has gifted us with everything yet we are failing to make things better for us for want of honesty. If we had it, we would have been among the countries like Malaysia, Korea, Brazil, Thailand, Bangladesh. In the past, these countries were worse than Pakistan.

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