PML-N govt took record loans that will take generations to pay, Senate body told

  • Sirajul Haq demands Rs500 billion for Karachi’s development

ISLAMABAD: Senate Standing Committee on Finance on Wednesday was informed that the current Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government had obtained record loans that will take generations to pay.

During a meeting of the committee on Wednesday, which was chaired by Farooq H Naek, serious reservations were expressed over the increasing domestic and foreign debts and loans.  It was demanded that the government should present the schedule of repayment of huge loans it took during the past five years, also showing concern over the dependence of the government on foreign loans.

During the meeting, Senator Sirajul Haq demanded Rs500 billion for Karachi, saying that the metropolis had been neglected in the previous budgets. He also demanded around 500 buses for the city to resolve the issue of public transport, besides insisting allocation of funds for circular railway and green line bus projects.

The committee was further informed that it will get services of former senator SM Bhandar and former finance minister Dr Waqar Masood for assisting it to prepare better recommendations for Finance Bill, 2018.

The committee approved the proposal of Muzaffar Shah relating to the reduction of duty on poultry feed from 17 per cent to 7 per cent. However, his suggestion over slashing the duty on veterinary vaccination was not approved as the committee informed that there was 11 per cent duty on the subject.

The committee later approved the reduction in duty on machinery being imported for the promotion of poultry and livestock from 17 per cent to 7 per cent.

The committee also approved proposals for maintaining the duty relaxation on machinery imports in the agriculture sector, tax reforms for the promotion of industries in less developed areas by 2022, the establishment of software house in Islamabad and others.

The committee also approved a proposal of introducing small business plans for poor people instead of giving money under the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP).

During the meeting, Senator Mohsin Aziz claimed that the data shown in the budget 2018-19 were fudged. He added that nothing was mentioned in the budget regarding the ballooning circular debt which has jumped to Rs1,000 billion.