Budget SimplifiedJun 2nd, 2012 | By Muhammad Saad Khan | Category: Latest, Pakistan, Social
Budget 2012 was being presented in National Assembly and it reminded me about my lab attendant. His newly born daughter died last month during labour at home in a far flung village of KPK . He was not able to afford the delivery expenses in hospital and therefore he opted for labour at home. I came to know about it when he had already left home after hearing the sad news of demise. When he came back, he told me that he is earning about 10K and the charges of a hospital delivery were not bearable for him as the medical tests and medicines were quite expensive. I was thinking that whats in the budget for him.
Finance minister tried to convince people that they are living in a heaven while when we look around, its totally a different picture. There is indeed a darker side which does not match with the claims of present regime. Are you confused in the budetary figures? That is why the budget does contain all this fuss. It is an attempt to show the brighter picture when there is dark all around. To cover up the bad governance and corruption of the government, people are trapped in heavy figures to show that the country is in best condition.
So what are these calculations all about? Lets make it simple, consider the following example. If there are only two persons in a place, one has earned Rs 100 and other has not earned anything. Now calculate their GDP, its Rs 100. Their per capita income is Rs 50. GDP includes the earnings /spending of all, in which the rich elite becomes a significant factor, but poor people contribute little to it. Growth rate of GDP depends more upon how much ‘richer the rich have gotten’. So even if growth figures are high, they are significant only for the rich elite. The facilities are available, but not affordable for the common people.
What is the real purpose of a budget then? Ideally speaking, the budget is an estimate of how much we are going to earn and how much we should spend. It allocates money for different projects. Its a document which reveals that how much of the previous targets were achieved and what are the new targets; that’s it. But the government tries to cover its ugly face by using heavy terminologies. A lot of time these figures are falsified, their impact is blown out of proportion, just to cover the mess the government has created.
Current budget is again a same budget with false promises. A huge part is being spent on defense, government expenditures etc. 70 billion rupees being spent on Benazir Income support program is a wastage of money. This huge amount could have been used for the better projects related to education, health, infrastructure and energy sector.These figures didn’t mean anything to the poor labourer who is trying hard to make both ends meet. It doesn’t mean anything for the person who is sick and spending all he could to get a proper treatment. Joblessness is becoming a huge problem in the country. Industry is closing down and millions are loosing jobs. Current Budget is in heavy deficit. It simply means that earnings are less and expenditures are more, government will not reduce its expenditures but will borrow more money. Rich industrialists are not paying taxes and common people have to pay tax on everything.
Now lets talk about increase in salaries. When salaries are increased by same percentage for all, it means peanuts for poor (low grade employees) and huge increments for high grade officers. It widens the already huge gap of rich and poor in the country. A grade 22 officer earning in six figures, with all the benefits and previliages cannot think about the problems faced by a poor. While price hike and inflation is same for all, increase in income is not similar. It makes the poor ‘poorer’ & the rich ’richer’
So this budget is a budget for elite class. They will get benefited. Poor will not get any benefits unless we change the system. Only one budget so far has ever been termed as a budget for poor people, and that was presented by Liaqat Ali Khan in 1946. Other than that, whichever party was in govt, circumstances were same for ordinary class. The capitalistic economy needs to be uprooted and Islamic system of finance needs to implemented, which ensures flow of wealth from rich to poor; only that is the way out.