Former Prime Minister and Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Sunday said that the national budget for FY 2021-22 is 'fake' and warned Pakistani people about provisions of new taxes worth Rs 343 billion.
"The budget is based on lies. It is a fake budget and the government will gut the people to complete its targets," he said.
Addressing a media briefing in Karachi, Abbasi said that when Imran Khan's government came, new taxes worth Rs 1,200 billion were imposed in the country but despite that, only an additional Rs 800 billion could be raised, reported Geo News.
Abbasi said that the government is fudging numbers and "befooling the people", warned that the budget for 2021-22 has new taxes worth Rs 343 billion.
"This is the country's first government which is lying so brazenly and has no shame in doing so," he added.
The PML-N leader said that the last two years have seen 20 million people fall below the poverty line. He said that in the last three years, more than five million people have been rendered jobless, reported Geo News.
He lamented how the people were purchasing wheat flour at Rs 35 per kilogram in 2018, which had now shot up to Rs 80-85 per kg.
He said with taxes on sugar, the price of the commodity will rise further and warned of the prices of milk and dairy products also witnessing an increase.
The PML-N leader said that the government claims revenues of Rs 1,150 billion, but has not specified the source of this income.
Abbasi, providing his own figures, claimed that the government which was touting a 24 per cent increase in income, could not increase income by 20 per cent even in the last three years.
Abbasi said that essential food items are being imported, rather than exported and their prices have soared by 25 per cent. "Let's see what the World Food Programme and World Bank say."
He questioned why there was no mechanism outlined in the budget for reducing inflation. "How will you reduce the prices of electricity, flour and sugar?"
Abbasi said that the real beneficiaries of the budget are the "construction mafia". "The construction industry is the one where there will be no questions asked."
"This budget is simply an 'ATM' budget, which will fund their 'ATMs'," he said, referring to the party's wealthy supporters.
Earlier, Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin was greeted by jeers from the Opposition benches, with members shouting slogans and taunting the finance minister by laughing loudly as he praised PM Imran Khan's economic initiatives while presenting the budget for the fiscal year 2021-22.