ISLAMABAD: Rejecting claims that the new budget for the year 2015-16 is a 'budget for the rich,' Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said it is 'pro-poor' with the rich in mind.
"This is a pro-poor budget but we also have to keep the rich in mind," the finance minister said, while explaining the salient features of the new budget for the year 2015-16 on Saturday.
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“Taxes have been levied on the affluent class and not the poor,” the finance minister said.
“It is a developmental and poor-friendly budget which would strengthen our national economy,” he added.
Addressing people's concerns over subsidies, Dar said, "People were worried about their subsidy ending in the budget so I want to clarify a few things."
“The subsidy for wheat in Gilgit-Baltistan has not been withdrawn,” the finance minister upheld.
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Commenting on the cement industry, Dar admitted that an import duty has been imposed but explained, “It is only because our cement industry has potential.”
“Duty on high speed diesel, furnace oil has also not increased.”
Further, the finance minister explained, “Income support has been increased and it is for the most needy people.”
“We have taken into consideration the widows of the country who are still paying of loans and they are being covered in the new budget,” he added.
"It is the right of every widow. Their liabilities will be released by the govt."