Multan: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said that despite knowing India’s intentions, we have not increased the defense expenditure so as not to burden the people too much.
Referring to the budget presented in the National Assembly for the next financial year, Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that the 7th National Finance Award had tied the hands of the federal government as 60% of the revenue from direct and indirect revenues went to the provinces. While the federation has 40 per cent left, the federation has to bear all the development and non-development expenditure within it.
The government has decided to continue the process of reducing government spending as before. Despite knowing India’s intentions, we have not increased defense spending so as not to put too much burden on the people. This is a big decision. In this regard, the Armed Forces of Pakistan have cooperated with us immensely keeping in view the economic situation.
The Foreign Minister said that we have focused on the areas and sections living below the poverty line, for which we have increased the amount from Rs 178 billion last year to Rs 208 billion this year under the Ehsas program. Granted, although health and education are the responsibility of the provinces, we have allocated significant sums in this budget to improve these areas as well.
Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that our aim is to minimize the burden on the people, to stop the waste of money, to revive the economy, not to allow unemployment to rise beyond a certain threshold. I congratulate the Minister of Finance and his entire economic team for providing a reasonable, encouraging, and optimistic budget.