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Pakistan

‘Economic terrorism’: NA opposition leader assails govt in budget debate

  • Omar Ayub says economic hitman made budget for FY2024-25
Published June 20, 2024
Photo: screengrab from X
Photo: screengrab from X

Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly (NA) Omar Ayub on Thursday assailed the government over the proposed budget for the financial year 2024-25, terming it against the interest of the country.

Debate on the budget proposed by the federal government on June 12 opened on Thursday.

In his speech, Ayub strongly criticised the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)-led government for presenting a budget “made by an economic hitman”.

“This budget is economic terrorism against the people of Pakistan,” the opposition leader said.

“The budget has been made through an economic hitman who wants to shake the pillars of the country,” he added.

The federal government announced its Rs18.9 trillion budget for the financial year 2024-25, with a 3.6% growth target and around 40% more collection through the Federal Board of Revenue.

The government sees inflation at 12% in the coming year.

In his speech, Ayub claimed the wings of Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb had been clipped as he reiterated his party’s stance that the incumbent government was a “product of Form 47”.

“If you look at the people who Aurangzeb is associated with, if you look at their biography, each one of them is a known gangster,” he said.

NA Ayaz Sadiq later expunged the word gangster.

While mentioning low foreign investment in the country, Ayub said the “whole world says that there is no rule of law in Pakistan”.

Regarding Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s visit to China, Ayub said the PM was welcomed by the deputy mayor of the Chinese city he landed in.

He also criticised the way the budget was presented.

“I have presented three budgets in this assembly. I have been coming to this assembly since 2002. When a budget is presented, budget documentation, budget in brief, memorandum of revenue, and the finance bill are first submitted to the assembly and then transmitted to the Senate, which later land in the finance committee.

“There was nothing like this but only the speech of the finance minister and that’s it,” Ayub maintained. “This was gross violation of rules”.

He also raised a question if Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) owned the budget presented by the federal government.

“Will you vote for it [budget] with the government or not,” he asked, mentioning there were only a few from the PPP were present while the budget was being presented.

“If PPP is not with the government, this government will then be slaughtered.

“This budget will then not be passed. An illegal and anti-people cannot work,” the opposition leader said.

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