FAISALABAD – The rulers have made masses mentally sick while the government is presenting budgets every month by increasing prices of petroleum products and tariffs of gas and electricity, said speakers at a forum held under the aegis of Nawa-i-Waqt Media Group here on Saturday.

“These budgets have forced some of the masses to commit dacoity and robbery crimes and suicides as well. If the forthcoming federal budget does not provide relief to the masses, they will be forced to take any step,” the speakers added at the seminar.

Organiser of the forum was Nawa-i-Waqt Group Bureau Chief Ahmad Kamal Nizami. On the occasion, he said that due to the worst economic policies of the government, the masses were committing suicides and crime rate had increased to a large extent. He added that the people were committing suicides along with their families, some people had even sold their children but the government was presenting new budgets every month in the shape of price hike.

He said, “Founder of the PPP raised slogan of Rote, Kapra aur Makaan while the present PPP-led government is snatching food from the masses’ mouths. Pakistan Movement worker Sheikh Bashir Ahmad said that Pakistan’s income percentage is 2.6 while that of Bangladesh is 8.5. He added that Bangladesh’s exports were crossing Rs140 billion and our exports were decreasing day by day due. Because of that, he said, industries were being shifted to to Bangladesh.

“The US, as per its new world order, is trying to crush our industry and wants to make us trading centre only,” he said and urged the rulers to impose Islamic economic laws in the country to solve all the crisis.

Akhtar Ali Shaheen of the All Pakistan Clerks Association said that employees from scale 1 to 16 are in the worst ever crisis due to price hike. He said, “We have dispatched our budget proposals to the government. If they are not accepted we would continue our protest even after the budget.” He called for facilitating small employees with child allowance so that they can enjoy some relief. He also demanded end to discrimination by the federal and provincial governments regarding their way of working in their respective institutes and awarding salaries to the employees.

Labor leader Islam Wafa said that price hike from 2008 till 2012 is the worse in history. He said that labourers cannot survive with Rs7,000 to Rs9,000 salary a month. “The trend of minimum wages is going to change globally and now the culture of living wages is being introduced. ILO will soon pass a resolution in this regard. We should also implement living wages law in our country,” it was added.

Mehmood Alam Jutt, the general secretary of Anjuman Tajran Faisalabad, and Nazia Sardar of Awam Tanzeem said, “Regardless of the government do anything positive for the masses and country in the forth coming budget, we have to raise our voice and play our role. If we are silent and do not play our pivotal role, we are involved in the corrupt government.” They said that the government’s steps had made education out of the reach of the poor in the country.

Amna Banoo, a lady farmer, said that due to increase in electricity and petrol prices and loadshedding, agriculture based activities are also in crisis. Poor farmers are now days unable to eat food for two times a day. She said budget was coming every month in the shape of increase in tariff.

“The villagers are facing a many problems. What is democracy delivering to the masses?” she said. Sadia Mohsin, a housewife, criticised heavy expenditures of the government.