LAHORE - More than 69 per cent respondents in a survey expected the federal budget 2016-17 will be traditional to appease IMF and would be loaded with new taxes for people and businesses.

The Institute of Cost and Management Accountant of Pakistan (ICMA) conducted the survey to extract the general public views on forthcoming budget and to capture hopes and aspirations of professionals, students, teachers, traders, businessmen, housewives and others.

The ICMA survey comprised seven questions.

Sharing results, the ICMA said that 69.3 per cent people expected the budget will be traditional but 19 per cent hoped that the government, after achieving some stability, was in a position to people and business-friendly budget.

According to the survey, 56.3 per cent respondents did not expect any kind of measures in budget that could bring some relief to the people but 35 per cent showed optimism that government would offer some concession to the common man.

“Fifty-four per cent believed the government may offer some incentive to the salaried class. 37.7 per cent participants indicated no relief for them and 11.3 per cent did not predict anything at this stage.”

As per survey, 58.2 per cent hoped that government will pass on benefit of reduced oil prices in international market to the people and 34.7 per cent were of the opinion that they did not anticipate any positive measures in this field. Around seven per cent respondents were silent.

The ICMA survey said 64.6 per cent anticipated the budget would have an impact on prices and prices of essential commodities could go up but 16.3 per cent did not agree to that. Around 19 per cent respondents believed the prices would remain unchanged.

A majority of 74 per cent respondents of the survey believed the government spendings on non-development would increase while mere 9.3 per cent negated it saying the current pattern would continue. Around 7.7 per cent people said the comments on government expenditures were premature.

The ICMA said the survey participants were specifically asked to mention on top most priority area which in their opinion government must focus. And in response of this question, 41.7 per cent indicated the government should focus on education sector in the coming budget by allocating more funds for this while 14.3 per cent said the primary focus should be expansion in tax net to generate more revenue. Similarly, 14 per cent voted in favour of privatization and 12.8 per cent asked government to prioritize business growth.

It said the outcome received from the survey will help the policy makers in drawing inferences to assess the trust level of the general public on government initiatives for the betterment of people and national economy. It also reflected the perception of the people on how they want to see the budget 2016-17.