PPP may support govt in budget approval: KP Governor Kundi

Faisal Karim Kundi believes PPP won't join government in Centre

Web Desk
June 18, 2024
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Faisal Karim Kundi speaks at a press conference in this undated image. — APP

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Faisal Karim Kundi has said that he believes Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) will not join the government in the Centre but said his party would support ally, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), in getting the federal budget for the fiscal year 2024-25 approved.

“PPP and government talks on the budget are underway. We will support [the government] for budget approval if the negotiations are successful,” Kundi said while talking to Geo News on Tuesday.

Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb presented the budget for the next fiscal year on June 12 but just moments before his speech, PPP — an ally of the PML-N during the previous government as well — decided to boycott the National Assembly session.

However, Deputy Prime Minister Ishaq Dar was able to convince the PPP's leadership to ensure their presence, but only a handful of lawmakers from the party joined the session — marking their 'token attendance'.

The KP governor, who is PPP’s central information secretary, said that the government has to agree to the terms laid by International Monetary Fund (IMF) as the budget is presented with consultation with the global lender.

He said that the federal government tried to give a “good budget”.

Kundi also appreciated Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s pledge of seeking assistance from IMF for the last time and getting Pakistan rid of further loans.

Responding to a question about KP CM Ali Amin Gandapur, Kundi said that he did not meet the provincial chief executive on Eid ul Adha.

“It is quite late now, it’s is difficult to make contact with the CM, but not impossible,” he said.

It may be noted that Governor Kundi and firebrand KP CM remain at odds due to political rivalry between their respective parties, PPP and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

It is pertinent to mention that PPP expressed strong reservations with its ally over not being consulted over the budget proposals,

However, the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has said that it would ensure to take the PPP into confidence before the budget 2024-25 is passed.

Acknowledging PPP's reservations, Adviser to Prime Minister on Political Affairs and PML-N's Punjab president Rana Sanaullah has said that their concerns were valid, but it wasn't like they weren't consulted at all. "Yes, there was some lack from our side. However, the budget isn't finalised yet, we're still taking proposals."

He said that the government eyes to get the passed before the end of June — since the next fiscal year begins on July 1.

The government has set a challenging tax revenue target of Rs13 trillion for the year starting July 1, a near-40% jump from the current year, and a sharp drop in its fiscal deficit to 5.9% of GDP from 7.4% for the current year.

The coalition government of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif does not have the luxury of a parliamentary majority to help it pass the budget smoothly.