ISLAMABAD, June 3: Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf chairman Imran Khan on Sunday termed the 2012-13 federal budget a fraud and meaningless in terms of providing relief to the masses because, according to him, the total revenues that would be collected during the course of the year would go into debt servicing.
Speaking at a post-budget press briefing, Mr Khan claimed that his party could use its street power to bring all the major cities across the country to a standstill but added that it would not resort to unconstitutional means to get rid of the corrupt and incompetent government.
A country whose rulers were not ready to pay taxes could hardly be expected to survive on tax revenues alone, Mr Khan said.
He said that corruption had reached alarming proportions and either the country would survive or the ruling elite.
He said that both the PPP and the PML-N represented the status quo and their leaders had stashed their ill-gotten money abroad.
Mr Khan said the defence expenditures should be subject to audit like any other department and that the data should be presented in the parliament.
He claimed that while four Chief Minister Houses were maintained, Shahbaz Sharif was staging a drama on the lawns of Minar-i-Pakistan against loadshedding.
He said the budget figures spoke about intentions of the incompetent regime resorting to massive borrowing to meet its non-developmental expenses. He asked why the discretionary powers of the president and prime minister were so overwhelming that nobody could audit their ‘misuse’ of secret funds.
Mr Khan said that people would only volunteer to pay taxes when they were sure that the money would be used judiciously and not be pocketed by the corrupt rulers.
He said that his party would take possession of ‘benami property’ after coming into power and cut down government expenses to the benefit of the common man.
Referring to the increased allocations of several millions for the Presidency and Prime Minister’s House despite an acute financial crisis, he said the poor was unable to afford two-time meal for his family, the corrupt rulers were leading a lavish lifestyle at the cost of tax-payers’ money.
He said that all the major state entities, including PIA, Pakistan Steel Mills and Pakistan Railways had been ruined because of massive corruption and nepotism, as honest officers had never been allowed to work freely.
Senior party leader Assad Umer said that there was an urgent need to launch programmes to fight poverty and other ailments.
However, he lamented the rulers had some other priorities to care for: like massively jacking up the budgetary allocations for the Presidency and Prime Minister’s House.