LAHORE - The government should increase salaries of low income class and should focus on agriculture and growth of small and medium enterprises besides taking concrete measures to cut down inflation and unemployment in the forthcoming budget for fiscal year 2010-11. The political leadership should not impose Value Added Tax, as it would multiply misery of the masses. The political parties should also develop consensus on the construction of Kalabagh Dam (KBD) as it could help overcome energy crisis in the country. These views were expressed by the speakers at a seminar on 'Budget 2010-11 - Expectations and Apprehensions organised at the Hameed Nizami Hall on Thursday. The speakers included Agri Forum Pakistan President Ibrahim Mughal, Working Women Organisation Executive Director Aima Mehmood, Pakistan Workers Federation President Talib Nawaz, All Pakistan Clerks Association President Chaudhary Muhammad Afzal and Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Vice-Chairman Hameed Akhtar Chadda. Ibrahim Mughal said that the agriculture had 40 per cent share in the countrys GDP, but due to the governments negligence the sector had been badly hit. He said the government failed to achieve the target of agri-farming, adding that the production of rice, sugarcane, wheat and cotton remained lesser than 38 per cent during the year. He said that agriculture marketing, water for irrigation and loan at low interest for small farmers were the matters, which the government should attend to in the new budget. Aima Mehmood said that the working women could hardly have any expectation from the government. She said the budget had been formulated on dictations from the IMF and World Bank and would not have any relief for the poor and middle class. However, she maintained, reduction in defence budget and revolutionary steps towards the betterment of working and labour class might provide relief to the people. Talib Nawaz said that thousands of small and medium enterprises had been closed because of loadshedding. He said that inflation and unemployment were the sectors, which should be addressed in the new budget. He said that federal and provincial cabinets needed to be slashed. He suggested that the government should immediately focus on the production of cheap electricity. Ch Muhammad Afzal said that implementation of VAT would trigger inflation in the country. He proposed 25 per cent cut in officers vacancies, as in his view, they were busy in lavish and luxurious activities. He demanded that the salaries of scale 1-15 staff be raised by 200 per cent. Hameed Akhtar said that decrease in tariff rates besides low mark up on industrial loans should be the areas of priorities of the government in budget 2010-11. He said that peaceful environment, construction of new dams and trust building measures between business community and the government were the need of the hour.