Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Asad Umar said on Thursday the parliament has a constitutional responsibility that if a crime has been committed, if someone has stolen the country’s money, then it is our Constitutional responsibility that there be a system of reward and punishment for it.
Speaking in a National Assembly session here in Islamabad, the former finance minister, while taking shot at former president Asif Ali Zardari’s attendance after issuance f his production orders by NA Secretariat, said Zardari wanted to end the system of accountability and pakkar dhakkar (pushing and shoving).
He said, “if this pakkar dhakkar is being done for political revenge then it is neither good for the country nor for the person seeking revenge.”
“But the system of reward and punishment is the system of God,” he added.
Talking about the budget, Umar said, “the current situation is that there are various problems in the economy.” At the time the PTI government was formed one “deferred ailment” that the government was dealing with was foreign debt, he added.
The current account deficit of 2.035 billion dollars a month was reduced by 70 per cent in the last three months before my resignation, he said.
He noted that the federal budget was a “budget for tough times” as he congratulated the team that had prepared it.
Realizing that the turnover tax had been increased, the ex-finance minister recommended, “At least the new investments should be excluded from this minimum tax in the first five years.” Balancing, modernisation, rehabilitation and expansion (BMRE) tax credit should be restored, he added.
Umar also added that it was not “reasonable” to increase taxes on sugar for which prices were already rising. “It should be taken back and [they] should also investigate why sugar prices are rising so quickly.”
Umar said that the increased tax on ghee was not reasonable and asked Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance Dr Hafeez Shaikh to reconsider this when winding up the budget.
There were five main factors — electricity prices, gas prices, tax rates, policy rates of State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and rupee valuation — being discussed during negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for an agreement, further added the ex-finance minister.