South Asia Monitor, Window to South Asia
Pakistan government presents first budget amid uproar
Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government presented its first federal budget for the fiscal year 2019-20 late on Tuesday, amidst uproar in the National Assembly.
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government presented its first federal budget for the fiscal year 2019-20 late on Tuesday, amidst uproar in the National Assembly.
The Rs 6 trillion budget was announced in the National Assembly a day after Khan's Pakistan Tehrrek-i-Insaaf (PTI) government released the latest round of bleak economic figures for the cash-strapped country, showing growth for the current fiscal year falling to 3.3 per cent - well below the 6.2 per cent target.
The government also announced that its defence budget would remain the same as the last year's of (Pak) Rs 1.150 billion, because of austerity measures to which the Pakistan military had agreed.
In the austerity-focused budget, salaries of ministers and advisors have also been cut by 10 per cent while minimum wages have been increased.
Hammad Azhar, Minister of State for Revenue, presented the budget amidst huge protests from the opposition benches. During his speech, opposition benches tore up copies of the budget documents and chanted anti-government slogans.
"The problem is not of [the arrests of] Nawaz Sharif or Asif Zardari. The question is which direction the country is going in," said Bilawal Zardari Bhutto, Chairman of the Pakistan Peoples Party.
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