2012-13 budget announced.
What was the transparency standard in allocation of the budget this year?
When fiscal and monetary stability is the focus gaps appear and social safety net becomes of prime importance. However, we need to realize that we are a proud nation and allocation should be in a way to preserve this sense. If I had the chance to allocate I would have ensured employment for one family member of each house. Alongside, I would have erected an infrastructure for skills development. That way with the inflow of money and increase in consumption, productivity could be improved and inflationary pressure reduced. The inherent flaws in the new budget make it impossible to bring transparency in the process. I believe that if we scrutinize and trace the budget being spent on a poor man, our findings will be disappointing.
A few issues have questionable transparency like the Benazir income support program and fertilizers etc, what do you have to add?
I’ve already commented on Benazir Income Support Program. Would like to add something to the fertilizer issue. I’m completely in favor of farm subsidies and other sectors also will need sustenance for sometime but I do not believe in subsidizing across the board. It would be smarter to focus weaker areas and provide them with subsidies to provide sustenance. If fertilizer section is given subsidies the gas is offered at better rates and consequently we observe that stock exchange is focused in the fertilizer section rather than agriculture. I would suggest that only poor farmers be offered the subsidies and not just that but rental tractors and other support as well.
What are your final comments for the budget this year?
In our time we gradually decreased discretionary powers of FBR officials. I have noticed that over a period of time unnoticeably these powers have increased giving way to increased corruption. Their is more focus on Petroleum levy and sales tax. This is indirect taxation we need to increase direct taxation to extract more taxes from the rich.
Source: Budget 2012-13 – Geo News – 02 June 2012