Islamabad (HRNW): Prime Minister’s Adviser on Finance Abdul Hafeez Shaikh has said that the government has inherited a debt of Rs31, 000 billion, when it came into power after winning 2018 General Elections. In a post-budget press conference, he said that the country is going through a tough phase. “The government is taking fresh loans to pay interest of the old loans taken by the past rulers”. On the budget, Shaikh said that the elite class of the country will have to show support to the country as the rich in the region pay more taxes than the elite in Pakistan do. Only 12 pc of the country’s populace is paying its due tax, which is recorded as one of the lowest levels in the world, he maintained.
He said the government is only giving Rs 1100bn to Army to fulfill its defence needs as they voluntarily announced to curtail their budget amid to crunch financial condition of the country. Mr Shaikh said the government is paying special heed to the poor and middle-class section of the society. He said electricity tariff will remain unchanged for the consumers who fall under the slab of 300 units. He said that this time the budget for development has been increased from previous year’s Rs500 billion to Rs925 billion. Exports have fallen sharply due to which price of dollar has jumped, Shaikh said. He said non-filer will atomically become tax filer once he or she purchases any property or vehicle. The adviser said the government has raised salaries of the employees working in the lower grades, while the salary structure remains unchanged for the higher grade employees.