The government is expected to announce its annual budget, estimated expenditure, and revenue collection for the fiscal year 2020-21 in the second week of June. The government’s prime focus will likely be, and should be, on providing relief for people and businesses alike, rather than increasing taxes, until the virus is contained and we may move back towards normality. Thus, it shall most probably reflect an effort to counter the negative impact of the coronavirus on our economy.

The government may increase debt to provide relief for people and businesses. Businesses are continuously accruing great losses as revenue from the airline industry, public transport, hospitality, leisure, and tourism fall next to nil. Restaurants have reopened, but with the limited function of takeaways only. As many sectors remained closed and may not be reopened over the next three- or four-month period, further taxes will only threaten the livelihood of individuals. The government should thus be mindful and take precautions to avoid furthering the economic catastrophe which looms over us.

SAQIB ISHAQ,

CHAKOTHI AJK.