KARACHI - Speakers at the meeting of Shura Hamdard Karachi chapter urged the government to reduce 40 per cent expenditure of the President House as being done for the Prime Minister House; develop cottage industries; introduce land reforms and impose tax on agricultural income in order to cut non-development expenditures with a view to provide employments and relief to peasants besides expanding tax base. The meeting was held under the chair of Capt (R) Anwarul Haq Siddiqui at a local hotel to gine suggestions and recommendations for the national budget 2008-2009. Ms Sadia Rashid, President Shura Hamdard Pakistan, was also present on the occasion. Addressing the meeting, renowned economist M.A. Sabzwari said that the grades of MP-1 and MP-2 should be abolished as they were creating discrimination in society, number of ministers in federal cabinet and tours of prime minister and president be minimised to avoid burden on the national exchequer. He said that money-changing business was rampant nowadays advising banks to take over this lucrative business by maintaining quick service and reducing their commission in order to bring this money in the fold of national treasury. "We have nothing special to export except the things which are produced by our cottage industries, thus reasonable funds for the improvement of cottage industries be allocated in the coming budget", he maintained. He said 4 per cent of GDP be allocated for education and 15 to 20 per cent increase be made in salaries and pensions, keeping in view of price-hike in daily use commodities. Real state and Stock Exchange business, being very lucrative, should be brought in tax net, he said adding if government is not able to reduce high prices of commodities, it should at least maintain them at the present level. Capt (Rtd) Anwarul Haq Siddiqui said that more funds should be allocated in coming budget for the development of agriculture as in the coming age only that country would be able to survive which would have enjoyed strong agricultural base. "Development of water and energy resources is essential for the promotion of agriculture and better human resources were indispensable for an educated, trained, healthy and developed nation, he maintained. Col (R) Mukhtar Ahmed Butt demanded that luxury items, including cars, should be banned for at least five years. The real problem in our country is that laws are made but never implemented with a result in the continuation of prevailing disparity in our society, he added. Columnist Saeed Siddiqui said the quantum of agricultural income was Rs 600 million in 1980s but now it has tremendously increased. How a country could run smoothly keeping such a huge income out of the tax net, he questioned and demanded that income tax be imposed on agricultural income. Scientist Dr Mirza Arshad Beg said that Pakistan's national budget is formed as pro-rich budget based on wrong statistics like domestic economy, which was not based on indigenous resources, capital and manpower that was why we failed to achieve self-reliance. "We live on black money and are wasting our resources, we can reduce our cost of production only by controlling our wastages", he said adding that people are eating potatoes instead of bread because these are cheaper than flour. Dr Syed Amjad Jaffery said there must be some incentives for local scientists in the budget as they have abilities to overcome the problem of energy by producing solar energy. Dr Nazar Kamrani was of the view that unless feudal system was abolished in the country the problem of food would not be solved. Ms Mussarrat Akram, Dr Naeem Qureshi and Dr Nazir Ahmed also spoke on the occasion. The meeting also unanimously passed a resolution condoling the death of a Shura's member, Justice (R) Sardar Mohammed Iqbal, who died a few days back in Lahore, and offered fateha for the departed soul.