KARACHI - Pakistan Tehreek Insaf (PTI) leader of opposition in Sindh Assembly, Firdous Shamim Naq­vi and its parliamentary leader, Halim Adil Shaikh here on Sat­urday felicitated Prime Minister Imran Khan and his team for in­troducing a public friendly bud­get for fiscal year 2020-21.

Addressing a press confer­ence, they also expressed their reservations about the budget related objections raised by the parliamentarians belonging to Pakistan Peoples Party and Pak­istan Muslim League Nawaz.

Naqvi highlighted that no new tax has been introduced in the budget for 2020-21 and that the PTI government also reflected upon its plan to revise revenue collection mechanism so as to generate much needed resources.

“One thing I know is that al­locations for social net have been significantly increased,” he said mentioning that this is besides significant reduction in the duties to help stabilize local industries and strength­en different sectors that have been badly affected due to CO­VID-19 challenge.

“These are mainly major source of employment for local population,” said the PTI leader. Rubbishing those critical of the PTI government’s budget for coming fiscal year, Naqvi said they perhaps want an absolute­ly tax free budget which is but an unrealistic desire.

“What they forget is that lack of will to pay taxes and pav­ing way to generate national resources does compromise independence of the country,” said Naqvi.

“The harsh fact is that taxes presently collected are mainly spent under two major heads therefore a nine percent defi­cit budget is registered with tax to GDP ratio coming to 12% leaving the country with little option but to arrange the needed three percent through loans,” elaborated the senior political activist.

Emphasizing that concerted efforts are needed to raise gov­ernment earnings, for which a target of Rs.1.1 trillion has been set under the budget for coming fiscal year, Naqvi regretted that opposition parties are criticiz­ing this for sake of criticism.

In reply to a question, he said the PTI government will not make any compromise to national defense require­ments, particularly in view of hegemonistic designs of a country on the eastern border, nor will go against its interna­tional agreement that required debt servicing.

“Federal government is trying its best to contain non-devel­opment expenditure,” he said reiterating that public sector entities are not being closed nor people rendered jobless. PTI leader in the provincial assem­bly mentioning that he himself had presented a shadow budget for Sindh only last year advised opposition parties to come for­ward with one for the country this year.

Halim Adil Shaikh, Parlia­mentary Leader of the PTI and the party’s Central Vice President said the opposi­tion leaders representing the elite segments of the country are critical of the budget as it would help bring into the tax net the luxury goods and non-development segments.

“It is difficult for them to ac­cept that duties have been re­vised, on the lower sides, for local manufacturing units meet­ing basic needs of the people as residential facilties, textile, clothing, shoes and other essen­tial items,” claimed the leader.

Halim Adil Shaikh terming the federal budget a major relief oriented intervention for the masses that too against series of challenges faced by the gov­ernment said achievements of the PTI during fiscal year 2019-2020 can also not be ignored.

“PTI government successfully managed to return a significant amount procured as loans from dif­ferent international organizations besides procuring no loan from State Bank of Pakistan during the same period reflective of a prudent policy of the government led by our Captain,” he said.

Further substantiating his claim he said reputable agencies as Moody and Bloomberg have repeatedly reported the out­standing performance of the PTI government that helped coun­try’s economic growth which but slowed due to the global CO­VID - 19 pandemic, hitting each and every country across the globe. The two leaders belong­ing to Sindh on the occasion also discussed in detail the perfor­mance of the provincial govern­ment and its inadequacies at the expense of public well-being.