ATTOCK

The reaction to various public representatives and people from different walks of life to the federal budget was mixed as per their affiliation with the political parties.

The pro-PML-N government people termed it a very balanced budget while its opponents dubbed it “jugglery of words”. They said that there was nothing in the budget for the poor.

State Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Sheikh Aftab Ahmad while commenting on the federal budget said that in the prevailing situation when the country was facing different challenges, it was a balanced budget. Funds have been allocated keeping in view the priorities of governmental departments, he said. He added that a handsome amount had been allocated for the higher education, health and Benazir Income Support Programme. MNA Malik Aetbar Khan said that it was a very balanced budget under the present circumstances.

Former state minister and Senior Vice President of PTI Malik Amin Aslam criticised the government, and said that no meaningful relief had been provided in the budget. It can be truly termed of the rich by the rich and for the rich.

He said the burden on the poor had been increased through taxes and constant escalation of utility bills while the powerful mafias have again escaped the taxes. He said the public was faced with increasing loadshedding, unemployment, high utility bills and food inflation. He said the budget was the reflection of misplaced and misdirected priorities.

On the other hand, government employees from different departments expressed their disappointment over the budget, and said that they had expected bigger increase in the salaries and other allowances that suggested in the budget.

Meanwhile, private sector staff said that the government employees’ salaries had been increased but they had been awaiting such happiness for years. They said that government should control price hike and ensure provision of edibles to the masses at cheaper rates. They said it had become difficult for them to make both ends meet.

A salesman working at a general store said that in the budget minimum salary had been announced Rs 12,000 but who would implement it. The most of workers are paid Rs6,000 to Rs7,000. He said, “If we demand increase in salaries as per the rules, we are shown the door.”