Presenting the federal shadow budget for the next financial year on Monday, Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Farooq Sattar said the government should abolish the petroleum levy to check inflation, complete the Mass Transit projects in Karachi at the earliest and give the metropolis its rights without any discrimination.
He said the MQM’s budgetary proposals were aimed at alleviating poverty and inflation by bringing down prices of utilities and services, as well as of oil and gas, medicines and foodstuff.
He said they have also suggested more focus on better coordination among law-enforcement agencies and equipping them with the latest gadgets and facilities for the speedy disposal of cases.
Sattar highlighted the need for increasing the budgetary allocation for Karachi, which contributes 60% of the country’s revenue. MQM’s panel also blamed the government for collecting extortion in the name of petroleum levy that was roundly criticised during the previous government’s regime by the then opposition leader and current Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan.
Sattar alleged that the present government is deliberately ignoring the development projects of Karachi such as the Karachi Circular Railway project and the Lyari Expressway.
Talking to The Express Tribune, he said the budgetary proposals have been submitted to the prime minister and finance minister. “MQM is the sole political party in Pakistan that, whether in coalition government or opposition, has always submitted proposals to draw a comparison with the government’s prepared budget.”
These propitious and advantageous proposals, if adopted and implemented, may result in alleviating the economic ailment of the people that has affected the social fabric of the country and caused infinite harm, he said.
Haider Abbas Rizvi, another senior MQM leader, said that Sattar also demanded a committee be formed to monitor the Federal Board of Revenue’s affairs to control corruption.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 3rd, 2014.