LAHORE - Leaders of various politico-religious parties have termed the Budget 2014-15 as anti-people, and said that the government failed to provide relief to the masses as the budgetary proposals were prepared following the IMF dictations.

Jamaat-e-Islami chief Sirajul Haq said the government has come up with an anti-people budget, providing privileges to the elite class and depriving the 95 per cent masses.

Far from being a revolutionary budget, this is yet another traditional jumble of words that aims at giving the masses false hopes, Sirajul Haq said while commenting on Federal Budget 2014-15. He said the rulers believed that the masses were speechless and won’t react to the budget. However, he said, it would have been better if the government had announced a pro-poor budget.

The JI chief said that electricity was the basic requirement and the budget proposed an advance tax on every household, which was sheer injustice. He noted the previous electricity tariff was being altered and instead, a fixed tariff of Rs11 per unit up to 300 units was being imposed. Similarly, the tariff on above 300 units was being raised to Rs17 per unit and would be charged from the current month.  Besides, 17 per cent tax is being imposed on CNG, and further taxes on sunflower and canola seeds would increase prices of ghee and edible oil adding to the public miseries, he said. On the other hand, he said, there was a proposal to withdraw 10 per cent tax on motor vehicles of above 1,800 CC which would be a favour to the rich.

JI secretary general Liaqat Baloch also described the federal budget as highly disappointing, especially for the poor workers, womenfolk, workers and pensioners. He said the budget was bound to increase poverty, unemployment and price spiral, which in turn, would increase street crime and create anarchy.

Pakistan Awami Tehrik secretary general Khurram Nawaz Gandapur while terming the budget as jugglery of words said that the government was focusing on tangible development while it had not given any relief to the masses. He said transportation was secondary issue whereas heath and education was the primary issue of the people.

He said the government did not propose sufficient funds for both sectors—health and education. He also said there was much hue and cry about the spending on army but the government proposed more funds for making motorways and others tangible development than the military budget. He said the debt on every Pakistani has been raised up to Rs9000 during the one year rule of the incumbent government. He said the budget was totally based on adhocism.

JUI-S chief Samiul Haq said that the budget was made by following the IMF agenda, adding to public miseries. He said that they rejected the anti-people budget.

Jamiat Ulema-e-Pakistan (JUP) Punjab president Qari Zawar Bahadur said that the rulers had made the nation a slave. He said all the ‘good news’ which were told by the finance minster were temporary and fake. He said no solution was given to put the country’s economy on track. He said the currently economy was based on foreign debts and decrease in dollar value did not give relief to the masses. He said the finance minister should have been ashamed of talking of getting more debts.

JUI-F Information Secretary Jan Achakzai said the budget was traditional that did not have major difference than the last one. He said there was no relief for the farmers in the budget and it based on selling national assets. He said it could not be termed as pro-poor; however it would help revive economy.

It may be mentioned here that the JUP-F is an ally of the PML-N in the federal government.