Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s speech in NA highly inspiring, comprehensive: Umar Rehman Malik

Islamabad: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Umar Rehman Malik this week said PPP chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s speech on budget was highly inspiring and comprehensive.

“Bilawal Bhutto Zardari delivered a highly inspiring and comprehensive budget speech, addressing the country’s socio-economic, political, and security issues,” he said in a statement.

Umar Rehman Malik, he said, emphasized the critical need for political consensus. “If there is no political input, your budget will not work. The relief you want to give to the people won’t be possible,” he elaborated, quoting the PPP chairman.

Bilawal, Umar Rehman Malik said, highlighted that “in a nation where 40% of children face stunting and 26 million are out of school, a responsible politician would never suggest taxing essential items like milk or stationery. His powerful speech underscores the importance of the PPP’s thoughtful and inclusive manifesto, which is decidedly people-friendly and focused on genuine relief for the people.”

Earlier, taking part in the budget debate in the National Assembly, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said the people were looking at the government and the opposition with the hope that they would sit together and form consensus to prioritise the solutions to the crises being faced by the country.

He recalled that in the past, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had talked about a ‘Charter of Economy’, adding that “without such a charter and consensus, we cannot address the long-term problems Pakistan is riddled with”.

He complained that under the agreement signed between the PPP and PML-N at the time of the government formation, it had been agreed that the budget and related decisions, including the PSDP, should be made with the consultation of the PPP. Unfortunately, he said, this prerequisite was not fulfilled.

Bilawal Bhutto expressed concern over the rise in electricity prices and ongoing loadshedding in the country amid sweltering temperatures.

He called for “competitive taxation”, instead of “punitive taxation”. He regretted that every budget stressed on indirect taxation, instead of the rich and the mighty companies. In this budget too, he said, 75 to 85 per cent of tax regime was indirect taxes.

“When this is the case, then suffice to say, we are not passing a poor and people-friendly budget,” he stated.