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LAHORE, June 1: The PML-Q has criticised the PPP for not accommodating its suggestions in the budget to overcome the energy crisis.

“Though the budget is balanced one, we are disappointed that no long term measures have been proposed to end loadshedding,” PML-Q central information secretary Senator Kamil Ali Aga told Dawn.

He said the government should have gone for producing hydro power generation instead of thermal. The government should have also announced measures to end circular debt. He said unless the government controlled the energy crisis it could not overcome growing unrest and unemployment in the country.

He said the PPP should bear the political pressure and announce construction of Kalabagh dam.

“We hope that the government will pay a heed to our suggestions in this regard before the approval of the budget. Otherwise, we have options but to say good bye to it,” Mr Agha said.

The PML-Q leader said inflation and unemployment would increase further as only this month there had been an increase of 30 per cent in inflation. He said the government should have given a salary raise of at least 35 per cent to its employees.

Meanwhile, PPP leaders Imtiaz Safdar Warraich, Aslam Gill, Samiullah Khan, Usman Salim Malik, Shabina Riaz and Faiza Malik termed the budget people-friendly saying it would provide relief to the masses.

PMA: Punjab chapter of Pakistan Medical Association senior representative Dr Shahid Malik said the federal government’s decision of withdrawing customs duty on the raw material which was used to manufacture medicines would bring minor relief to the poor patients.

He said the some pharmaceutical companies had been mounting pressure on the federal government for increase in the prices of life-saving drugs.

The decision would also help these companies to meet the growing expenditures in manufacturing the medicines.

Dr Malik, however, said after the 18th Amendment the health was not the domain of the federal government. “Now it is responsibility of the provincial governments to allocate resources for increasing the total health expenditure to at least 2.5 per cent of GDP,” he said.

WAPDA Pegham Union central leader Ehsan Ahmad Chaudhry rejected the 20 per cent increase in the salaries of the government employees in the federal budget.

“We have been demanding 100 per cent increase in the salaries to meet the rising prices of daily commodities, utility bills like gas, electricity and petrol besides schooling of the children”, he said.

Mr Ahmad said the allocations made in the budget to eliminate energy crisis were also not sufficient.

A trader from Hall Road Shahid Ali said the budget was balanced saying that tax collection target of 3234 billion, reduction of income tax slab from 17 to 5 and 200 projects to fight electricity crisis would help create opportunities for the businessmen and traders.