ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Secretary-General Ahsan Iqbal said on Monday that the development budget of the country has not been increased during the last four years, as total development outlay of Rs 2,100 billion in the budget 2021-22 was equal to development outlay approved by the PML-N government in 2017-18.
Talking to reporters after appearing before the Accountability Court in the Narowal Sports City Complex Project (NSCCP) case, he said that decrease in development budget means that work cannot be done in health, education sectors as well as over other development projects.
During the PML-N government, the tax-to-GDP ratio was increased up to 13 percent now it has declined below 11 percent, he said.
He said that in budget 2021-22, Rs 1,370 billion have been earmarked for defense which being frozen at Rs1300 billion for the last three years.
During last three years, Indian defense spending grew by 62 percent.
The PML-N government during first three years had increased defense budget by 40 percent as it wanted to win the war against terrorism, he said. “I want to make it clear that the PML-N is totally against military interference in politics but his party was not oblivious of the defense and the security of Pakistan,” he said.
He said that the present government was unable to make law for controlling inflation in the country to provide relief to the general public.
“They can only make law for provision of relief to Indian spy Kulbushan Jadhav,” he said.
He said that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif was disqualified without giving him the right of appeal while they (the government) are making a law for Indian spy and convicted Kulbhushan Jadhav, to provide right of appeal.
“The country’s prime minister had no right of appeal but to provide concession and relief to Indian spy you have made a new law,” he said.
If a Pakistani spy is arrested in India, can the Indian parliament pass a law in the name of a Pakistani spy? he asked.
About Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s statement that the opposition had mishandled Kulbushan Javhav case, he said that he should prove that whether PML-N had made any demand for amendment in law for the Indian spy.
Under Vienna Convention and orders of International Court of Justice there was no need of making a new law for provision of counselor access to Indian spy, he said.
The non-declaration of an account receivable had led to the Supreme Court disqualifying Nawaz Sharif for life.
The government after passage of four years is making an amendment in the law under which disqualification can be done through account receivable which mean that punishment awarded to former prime minister had no legal cover, he said.
Iqbal said that the present government has been leveling allegation for three years against him but did not provide a single evidence before the nation regarding these allegations.
“They destroyed the country’s economy as a result of baseless allegations and character assignations of the opposition leaders,” he said, adding that the main focus of the present government was on revengeful activities and they have no agenda and development plan.
“I want to ask the government regarding accountability about which they talk about. They should inform the nation under which accountability they “exported” Zulfi Bukhari abroad in a special plane. You are unable to increase the country’s export but are exporting the accused of the National Accountability Bureau abroad”, he said.
He said that the government should inform the nation that under which law it has given an NRO to the sugar mafia.
“Director General (DG) Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) was transferred to give clean chit to their blue-eyed persons,” he said, adding that the number of corruption scandals surfaced during the present government never came in the history of Pakistan but the NAB did not take action against a single accused.
On the other hand, the NAB had arrested PML-N former minister and prime minister had been arrested by the NAB on the basis of complaint.
To a question about the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), he said that the future of the PDM was bright and the opposition alliance will start public campaign in the first week of July, and the first public gathering will be organised in Swat.
“We fear that they would again compromise on the country’s interest for getting tranche from the IMF,” he said.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021