Karachi: Former prime minister and PML-N stalwart Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Sunday said that the government is fudging numbers and “befooling the people”, warned that the budget for 2021-22 has new taxes worth Rs343 billion.
Addressing a media briefing in Karachi, Abbasi said that when Imran Khan’s government came, new taxes worth Rs1,200 billion were imposed in the country but despite that, only an additional Rs800bn could be raised.
“The budget is based on lies,” he said.
“This is the country’s first government which is lying so brazenly and has no shame in doing so,” he added.
The PML-N leader said that the government claims revenues of Rs1,150bn, but has not specified the source of this income.
Abbasi, providing his own figures, claimed that the government which was touting a 24% increase in income, could not increase income by 20% even in the last three years.
Speaking of LNG plants, he said that the government claims they have contributed to losses but the State Bank report states that they were fruitful. “And now they have taxed LNG as well.”
He lamented how the people were purchasing wheat flour at Rs35 per kilogramme in 2018, which had now shot up to Rs80-85 per kg.
Abbasi said that the last two years have seen 20 million people fall below the poverty line, including a large number of government employees.
He said with taxes on sugar, the price of the commodity will rise further and warned of the prices of milk and dairy products also witnessing an increase.
“All this is happening because the finance minister wishes to complete his target,” he said.
He said this very same minister had acknowledged two months ago that the government had harmed the economy.
“Now after having secured the job, he is blaming past governments for the destruction of the economy.”
Abbasi said that essential food items are being imported, rather than exported and prices have soared by 25%. “Let’s see what the World Food Programme and World Bank say.”