Budget 2016

Javaid Bashir

The Federal Cabinet approved the Rs. 4500 billion national budget. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif presided over the meeting through video link from London. Increase in the prices of items like cigarettes, tea, dry milk, cosmetics, drinks and other essentials was approved. The creation of an organization by the name of FATA Development Forum was also approved. Rupees 100 billion were allocated for this project. Of the Rs. 45 trillion budget, Rs. 1675 billion were allocated for the development projects. Increase in salaries and pensions has also been considered. I would suggest that government must take into consideration the inflation rate while increasing the salaries of government employees. According to sources the 3.5 % budget deficit has been recorded. Rs. 1500 billion have been reserved for the payment of loans and interest on them. Rs. 850 billion have been allocated for defence expenditure. Rs. 245 billion have been reserved for the Pensions and Rs. 170 billion for subsidies. SROs for tax exemptions will be eliminated. I would suggest all the SROs granting exemptions or deductions be eliminated. In fact the authoity to issue SROs be taken away. I think the 2016 budget does not provide any relief to the poor. Taxes have been imposed and prices of commodities increased. The prices of necessities were already increased manifold. The prices are out of the reach of the common man. Worst kind of exploitation of poor people is taking place. The prices of petroleum products have been decreased worldwide. But the government has not decreased the petroleum products prices in proportion to international decrease. The businesses have not trickled down the benefits to common man. Our exports revenue has shrunk due to several reasons. Government should remove all the obstacles in the way of exports promotion. The imports volume has been increased causing decrease in local industrial manufacturing. We must protect our local industries to save foreign reserves. Pakistan has rich mineral resources which need to be explored and exploited for our benefit. We need to revamp and reform Tax system. The rich, wealthy, businessmen and industrialists be brought in the tax net. Widening of tax net is linked with increase in revenue and collection of taxes. The flight of capital is a curse. It must be checked. We must reduce the incidence of back money. Over all it is a disappointing budget for the common man.
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