FAISALABAD: Ironically, in Pakistan, the annual budgets are not planned to cater to the expenditure needs of the outgoing or the next to-be elected government. Many relief packages or incentives are targeted at the sectors the government finds most of its potential voters from. Where leftists might focus more on commoners or specifically the salaried class and their votes, those lying in the centre and the right of the political spectrum lure the business class to secure their vote bank.
A major part of the recent budget comprises tax cuts and incentives the ruling party has announced, which are a major relief to the business community. Leaving the implementation for later, if nothing, the incentives will at the least earn the party the support of the community in the upcoming polls. Also, allocation of funds for debt servicing and subsidies will help keep the currency exchange rate and prices stable, yet reducing the size of the Public Sector Development Programme will adversely affect the ongoing and planned development programmes and creation of new jobs.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 30th, 2018.