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Senate witnesses mixed reaction over Budget 2024-25

ISLAMABAD: Senate on Friday witnessed a mixed reaction on the Budget 2024-25 as the treasury benches termed it pro-people and relief orientated while the opposition called for reviewing increase in tax on salaried class besides giving more relief to the masses.

Resuming the debate on the budget, Senator Raja Nasir Abbas of MWMP said that no relief was given to the poor masses in the budget. He said that sufficient fund was also not allocated for education and health sectors. The budget lacked future economic plan, he claimed.

He said problems of industries should be addressed on priority basis as it played a key role in the country’s exports. Increase in petroleum levy would further cause inflation in the country, he added.

Maulana Attaur Rehman of JUI-F said that the government should have made the budget people-friendly, the official news agency reported.

Sarmad Ali of PPP said that the country was facing severe economic crisis and “we have limited resources and fiscal space”.

“Our over 50 percent revenue collection is spent on debt servicing,” he added.

He said the proposed tax on paper would have a negative impact on education and newspaper industry.

Sadia Abbasi of PML-N said the government should review proposed increase in tax on salaried class and provide maximum relief to the common people in the budget.

She said the government’s policy should be pro-people, pro-business and pro-agriculture. She also suggested that the government should control its expenditure.

Dr Zarqa Suharwardy Taimur of PTI termed the budget pro-elite rather than pro-people. She said tax has been increased on the salaried class, particularly on grade 1-16 employees.

She claimed that exemption was given to the elite class in the budget. No tax was imposed on IPPs, members of the parliament and elite class, she said. She said that the government has to curtail its own expenditure.

She welcomed an increase in the minimum wages of labourers but said that the government should reduce the tax ratio.

Nasir Butt of PML-N, while taking part in the debate, said that the government presented a people friendly budget and announced sizable increase in salaries and pensions of the employees despite economic crisis. He said that it would take time to clear the mess created by the PTI government during 2018-2022.

Mohsin Aziz of PTI criticised the government for increasing indirect taxes rather than imposing direct taxes on the elite and rich people. He said that the government should enhance tax base by taking pragmatic steps.

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