PTI terms PML-N govt's federal budget FY25 'poisonous'

PML-N govt finalised "poisonous" budgetary proposals on IMF's dictation, alleges former ruling party

Haider Sherazi
June 13, 2024
Women supporters of former premier Imran Khan hold flags during a rally ahead of the general elections in Lahore, Pakistan January 28, 2024. — Reuters

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Wednesday termed the Finance Bill 2025 presented by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)-led government in the National Assembly as "poisonous budget" and a "bundle of contradictions".

A PTI spokesperson alleged in a statement that the federal budget for FY25 was presented "against the nation, employment and economic development".

The former ruling party also blamed the PML-N government for having no control on finalising the budgetary proposals which were "actually dictated" by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Terming the gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate unrealistic, the Imran Khan-founded party said that the GDP growth rate has been set at 3.6% which would not even progress rise to 2.4% as per the estimation of the World Bank.

Subsequently, the new taxation measures would unleash a "tsunami of inflation" on the nation, the PTI spokesperson said, adding that it was the government's unrealistic approach to announce maintaining the inflation rate at 12%.

The opposition party also threw shade at the incumbent government for lifting tax exemptions for exporters, as well as increasing the tax burden on the real estate which would “only promote cash transactions” instead of increasing the tax net.

It added that the salaried class was suffocated by modifying the tax slabs by the federal government which also “cracked a joke by only allocating Rs5 billion” for the agriculture sector after making tall claims of relief package.

The PTI also criticised Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif's administration for hiking the salaries of the government employees by up to 25% and jacking up petroleum levy to Rs80 per litre which would result in putting an additional financial burden on the taxpayers.

Earlier in the day, the federal government presented the federal budget 2024-25 with a total outlay of Rs18.9 trillion.

Muhammad Aurangzeb, a first-time finance minister, unveiled the budget in the National Assembly amid a noisy protest by the opposition lawmakers belonging to PTI-backed Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) — who stood on their desks, raised anti-government slogans and tore the copies of the Finance Bill 2025.