LAHORE: The PML-N lauded the federal budget 2014-15 as pro-people and balanced while opposition parties claimed there was nothing worthwhile for the masses in it.

Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said the budget put “no extra burden” on the poor and that the government made a “very good effort” in the current difficult circumstances. He appreciated allocation of billions of rupees for various pro-poor schemes and welcomed the textile package, hoping it would help increase exports.

PPP: The PPP has rejected the federal budget and termed it a jugglery of statistics.

“The government should have increased the salaries of government employees up to 25pc instead of 10pc,” PPP Punjab Senior Vice President Haider Zaman Qureshi said.

He said the PML-N government provided no relief to the masses in the budget. “There is no good news especially for the poor who had high expectations from the PML-N government,” he added.

Qureshi claimed a mini-budget would soon follow that would bring a flood of inflation and price hike.

PPP Central Punjab President Manzoor Wattoo said the government was treating the agriculture sector poorly, which was affecting its growth. He deplored the government’s decision to fix only Rs200 billion for power projects.

“The amount should have been at least Rs400 billion,” he added.

JUP: Jamiat Ulema-i-Pakistan President Pir Ijaz Hashmi termed the budget pro-business, saying it carried many facilities and relief for the traders community but nothing for the general public.

He regretted nothing was announced for controlling price hike rather prices of some kitchen items were increased to what he said “force the masses to fast the whole year”.

About the mega projects announced by the finance minister, Hashmi said they would be executed only if the rulers managed to bring in foreign investment and assistance.

EMPLOYEES: The Coordination Council of Punjab Civil Secretariat Employees rejected 10pc raise in salaries saying it was “too meagre”.

Council leaders Rao Akram and Rana Nisar demanded the ad hoc relief be merged into basic pay scale while salaries be increased at least 50pc keeping in view the inflation rate. They also sought that superintendents and other clerical posts be upgraded.The Punjab Teachers Union also rejected the raise and announced to launch a protest drive against the government.

AWP: The Awami Workers Party termed the budget a “corporate sector budget” and noted that working classes had almost been ignored.

AWP General Secretary Farooq Tariq said the government preferred development of infrastructure over human resource as Rs113 billion were earmarked for various communication projects against Rs26 billion for health.

He also rejected the 10pc percent increase in government employees’ salaries and sought the raise be at least 50pc.

Similarly, he said minimum wages should be fixed at Rs20,000 per month and that 5pc of the budget should be allocated for education and 10pc for health.

PAT: Pakistan Awami Tehreek Secretary General Khurram Nawaz Gandapur said tax on retailers would directly affect the common man as it would add to the price hike.

He regretted that pensioners from private sector were ignored while no subsidy was announced for the masses in payment of utility bills or a comprehensive plan for ending unemployment.

PTI: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Punjab President Ejaz Chaudhry said the budget was evident of the government’s anti-poor policies. He lamented that no relief was announced for the people as the government failed to reduce prices of essential commodities.

He said small-scale farmers, labourers and other segments of society were not considered while finalising the budget. He said the government should have increased wages proportionate to inflation rate, and rejected 17pc tax on CNG.

Published in Dawn, June 4th, 2014