Proposals failed to address critical issues: Zardari

WEB DESK: Commenting on the Budget-2016-17, former President and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari has said the budgetary proposals failed to address critical issues in documenting economy, improving revenue collection, preventing tax evasion, and addressing the growing disparity between the rich and the poor.He said that the PPP would give its detailed observations both inside and outside the Parliament.

Spokesperson Senator Farhatullah Babar on Friday said that the former President was disappointed that the financial proposal failed to address some fundamental issues. He said while quoting the former President that it has miserably failed in arresting the alarming downslide of agriculture sector, the growing frustration of the government employees and wage earners and in tackling environmental degradation and climate change that are intricately linked to economic development.

“Worst still, as already pointed out by leading economists, the government has manipulated figures like the GDP growth, tax to GDP ratio, unemployment and inflation rates and fiscal deficit,” he said. “Budgetary proposals that are based on manipulated figures and faulty assumptions are fated to accelerate economic downslide and increase frustration,” he said.

He said that the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics not being an independent department has lent credence to the assertion that figures have been manipulated. “The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) holds the key to our economic development. Yet there was no hint as to how the government intends to address the rising frustration in smaller provinces of Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa that the government has gone back on the decision of the All Parties Conference (APC) on May 28, 2015 to build the western route of the corridor on priority basis,” he said.

The former President said that the economy would continue to be in a spin as long as the government borrows more and more from foreign lenders to retire domestic debt. He further added that issuing foreign currency bonds at a rate much higher than prevailing rates in the region is disastrous for the economy besides raising questions about who is the beneficiary. -Business Recorder