Sat, 23 Sep 2023

Islamabad [Pakistan], June 10 (ANI): The federal budget for Fiscal Year 2023-24, presented by Pakistan Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Friday, came as a huge disappointment for homemakers as it offered no respite from surging household expenses, The News International reported.

Reeling under an economic crisis of the kind seldom experienced in the country's history, women in Pakistan are finding it hard to make ends meet, with many voicing their outrage over the surging prices of basic household products.

The News International is one of the most widely circulated English-language newspapers in Pakistan. It is published daily from Karachi, Lahore and Rawalpindi/Islamabad.

Lamenting on the poor economy of Pakistan and the budget, a teacher in a private school, Saima, was quoted in the report as saying, "There is no use in listening to the statistics when it becomes difficult to even feed, educating your children."Saima, a single mother of two, only makes (PKR) 25,000 every month. "Would you kindly ask the budget makers to make a monthly budget for my house for just one month?" she was quoted as saying by The News International.

The housewives believe that while a salary raise of 35 per cent for government employees is a good move, it is insufficient to cope with the present price increase.

"All I know is that nothing will change after the budget. In fact, it will increase our problems," said Nadia Majeed, a housewife who chose not to pay attention to the budget address.

Almost everyone, who analysed and dissected the budget, held the same opinion. The common people and their interests were largely ignored by the budget planners, Samina Jamil, another homemaker, told The News International.

"The economy is in bad shape. We cannot expect miracles in one year. This budget was presented at a time when the country is experiencing extraordinary and unprecedented financial strife. I am sure things will improve with time," said Neelum Shahzad, another housewife.

Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif was present as Finance Minister Ishaq Dar unveiled the federal budget on Friday.

The Finance Minister, his budget speech, compared the performances of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) governments on the fiscal front.

"During the PML-N's previous tenure, inflation was at 4 per cent," Ishaq Dar said, adding that Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) was ranked 5th in South Asia's best-performing market.

The minister noted that the PML-N completed new projects to meet the country's 'shortage of electricity'.

"The infrastructure and motorways were developed, while employment opportunities were also created," Dar said, adding that the country's economy prospered during the PML-N's tenure.

He further said the PTI government 'deliberately' ruined Pakistan's economy through energy subsidies. "The PTI government's incompetence led to the current challenges the country was facing," he added, as per ARY News.

Dar said the previous government reneged on an agreement with International Monetary Fund (IMF) and damaged the country's reputation, adding that public debt and liabilities were "doubled during PTI's four-year tenure".

"Circular debt rose to (PKR) 129 billion per annum during PTI's four-year rule", he pointed out.

He lambasted the PTI government for "destroying the country's economy", saying that the previous rulers laid 'economic mines' for the next regime.

The Finance Minister also pointed out that the country has faced significant economic problems due to floods.

Dar maintained that the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) government was taking "corrective measures to bring the economy back on track".

"By the help of Almighty Allah, the government saved the Pakistan economy from default and exposed the conspiratorial elements," he added, according to ARY News.

"Current account deficit decreased drastically during the fiscal year 2022-23," he said, adding that the incumbent government adopted "austerity measures" to reduce the deficit. (ANI)

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