National Assembly continued its debate on budget for the next fiscal year in Islamabad today.
Speaking at the house, Minister for Power Omer Ayub emphatically stated that the revenue target of 5.5 trillion rupees set for the next fiscal year will be achieved by the PTI led government.
He said the PPP and the PML (N) in their ten year rule indebted the country of twenty four thousand billion rupees. He said we have paid three thousand billion rupees this year only as an interest on the loans taken in the past.
Omer Ayub said both the PML (N) and the PPP destroyed the economy. He said it is because of their policies that we are facing current account and fiscal deficits.
He said the civilian government and the armed forces have cut their expenditures in the budget to deal with the current economic situation.
The Minister said one hundred and eighty four billion rupees have been earmarked in the budget for the development of tribal districts.
Regarding the power sector, Omer Ayub said we have brought improvements in the electricity transmission system. As a result of which we ensured load shedding free Ramazan during Sehr and Iftar timings.
He said we have not increased the power tariff for the consumers using up to three hundred units rather we have given them the subsidy. He said we have also supported the export industry which will help bolster our exports.
Voicing concerns over increase in circular debt in the previous regime, he said we will bring the circular debt to zero by the end of next year.
Umer Ayub said we have also started a campaign to check power theft. FIRs have been registered against thirty thousand people whilst four thousand people have been put behind the bars for their involvement in power pilferage.
He was confident that the power sector will receive massive investment in the coming days.
He said our target is to increase the share of renewable energy in the energy mix to twenty percent by 2025.
The Minister said by 2030, our target is to produce seventy to seventy five percent power from indigenous resources.
He said the previous government installed coal power plants at wrong points which affected our agriculture sector.
Regarding the petroleum sector, Omer Ayub said Prime Minister Imran Khan will perform the ground breaking of oil refinery at Khalifa point by the end of this year.
Earlier, speaking in the National Assembly Leader of Opposition Shahbaz Sharif called for collective efforts to steer the country out of economic challenges.
He said we are prepared to sign a charter of economy with the government to take the country forward.
He criticized the PTI’s ten month performance in government saying the price hike has added to the woes of common man.
He said the PTI had made big claims of turning around the economy and bringing revolution in the lives of people but it failed to deliver.
Shahbaz Sharif said focus of budget should have been on employment generation, reduction in inflation, GDP growth, bolstering exports and ensuring socio-economic justice.
He said all these elements are missing in the budget.
He said the government has imposed seventy percent indirect taxes in the next budget which will burden the common man.
The opposition leader said that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf had promised to construct five million houses but has not allocated any amount in the budget for this purpose.
He also expressed concerns over raise in the gas and power tariff.
He said government has not provided any relief to the farmers in the budget.
Shahbaz Sharif demanded that the minimum wage of the employees should be fixed at twenty thousand rupees per month. He said the salaries of government employees up to scale sixteen be enhanced by fifty percent.
Shahbaz Sharif said additional taxes imposed on ghee and edible oil should be withdrawn. He said allocations for education and health be enhanced. He also demanded revival of zero rated facility for the export oriented industry.
A parliamentary delegation of Iran also witnessed proceedings of the house.
Both the treasury and opposition benches welcomed the delegation by thumping of desks.