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Shadow Budget 2012-13, The News .... By Ali Murtaza

 Posted on: 6/1/2012 1   Views:3197
Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) presented a ‘shadow budget’ for the fiscal year 2012-13 on Sunday, 27th May 2012, ahead of the upcoming federal budget of Pakistan. This budget was presented by Deputy Convenor and Parliamentary Leader of MQM in the National Assembly, Dr. Farooq Sattar in a media briefing at a local hotel of Islamabad, which was well-attended by journalists, economists, financial advisors and parliamentarians of MQM. ‘Shadow Budget’ presented by MQM is actually the first-ever budget presented by any political party in the history of Pakistan. 

Contrary to the term ‘Budget’, commonly known and intrigued by a common man in Pakistan, ‘Shadow Budget’ is the term that has never been heard or known to the general public. In most of the developed countries, it is a general practice that opposition parties propose a shadow budget, prior to the actual budget which is the responsibility of the incumbent government.

Muttahida Qaumi Movement, a coalition partner of the government and clearly not an opposition party, nevertheless made an effort in putting together a shadow budget that has set a commendable precedent for other political parties to follow.
By and large, it has been witnessed in Pakistan that political parties in opposition, instead of developing alternative policies and rigorously scrutinising the Government, often endeavour to criticise for the sake of criticism and seldom come up with any practical solutions.
It is a fact that every common Pakistani, especially young generation, is now fed up of listening to the hollow promises and empty rhetoric. At present, people are eager to see a change and without revamping the facade of politics, we can’t expect to win the trust of the people. Political parties must learn lessons from the past and develop result-oriented policies to save the country from political and economical turmoil.

MQM’s shadow budget is not a magical solution or a quick-fix approach for our economy. Proposed workable plans in this budget will certainly go a long way helping achieve economic goals, if implemented. Furthermore, this budget will provide an opportunity for the people of Pakistan to understand the underlying economic problems and it will also give a food for thought for the government.
MQM has claimed to cut down the budget deficit by 50% through its shadow budget proposals from Rs1.143 trillion to Rs575 billion and foreign debt is said to be reduced from Rs414 billion to Rs75 billion. It would definitely be a considerable achievement for Pakistan under current economic climate, if the budget deficit and foreign debts could be decreased.

In order to achieve aforementioned figures provided in the shadow budget, it has been proposed that Income from all sources, above the taxable limit should be taxed and sales tax rate should be reduced from 16% to 12 percent. 

It has been envisaged that direct taxes will be augmented from 32 percent to 45 percent and indirect taxes will be decreased from 68 percent to 55 percent, along with powers to the federal government to collect agriculture income tax. It has also been proposed that Petroleum levy should be abolished, Federal government should reduce its expenditure by Rs90 billion after devolution of ministries and Public sector enterprises should be run through public-private partnership. 

In a nut shell, major outcome from this shadow budget report is that it will challenge the Government to re-evaluate its current economic policy that has so far failed to stimulate the economy and prevent excessive inflation. Let’s hope that the Government will respond positively to all the suggestions included in the shadow budget and pursue a solid economic framework to steer our country out of recession. 

We all know that economic stability is a key to a stronger, sovereign and prosperous Pakistan; therefore drastic and extra-ordinary steps must be taken by the Government to free us from the shackles of foreign debt dependency. 

Maximum relief and ample growth opportunities should be provided to the common man, who is currently the worst sufferer of our ailing economy. Lastly, in order to address the economic crisis, it is recommended that the Government should consider forming an Economic Recovery Advisory Committee, comprised of economic experts and representatives of all political parties, which would work independently and look at ways of getting the economy back on track. We all hope that we will get there in the end, one day.
For more details click: Shadow Budget 2012-13 -