ISLAMABAD - While presenting federal shadow budget of Rs 3.775 trillion for fiscal year 2014-15 on Monday, the Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) demanded of the federal government to allocate a package of Rs 150 billion for the development of Karachi in the upcoming budget.
Senior leader of MQM Dr Farooq Sattar along with other party member presented the shadow budget, which envisaged six per cent growth rate for the upcoming fiscal year against four per cent expected growth rate in the federal government’s budget to be presented on Tuesday (today). He said that MQM’s shadow budget had eight objectives, including decrease in prices of electricity and gas, increase in funding of the agencies and departments fighting for elimination of terrorism, and increasing dependence on renewable energy resources.
The MQM demanded to bring all sectors in tax net. Sattar said that that rampant corruption in Federal Board of Revenue and state trading corporations and enterprises should be eliminated. “The government should constitute a parliamentary committee consisting of representation from all elected political parties to eliminate corruption,” he said.
The MQM also asked the government to increase minimum wages for workers to Rs 20,000, besides increasing salaries and pension of government employees by 15 per cent. Sattar said that his party had given last opportunity to PM Nawaz Sharif to come up to expectations of people in the budget. “Otherwise, people will be on roads to protest economic policies of the government and it could be a turning point,” he added.
He questioned economic policy of PML-N that the party had been trumpeting in the election campaign. He also suggested the government to allocate five per cent of the GDP for education and health. The shadow budget suggested 53:47 direct to indirect tax ratio against the government’s 37:63.
The shadow budget also suggested the government to decrease General Sales Tax (GST) from 17 per cent to 9 per cent. “This will help generate over Rs1,200 billion if implemented in good faith,” he added.
The shadow budget also cut the government’s expected current expenditure from Rs 3,550 billion to Rs 2,775 billion but predicted increase in development expenditure from the government’s expected Rs 800 billion to Rs 1,000 billion.
The MQM also presented some major proposals and reforms to revive the country’s economy. The party in its shadow budget said if the government starts collecting income tax on agriculture, it can earn up to Rs 161.5 billion per annum.