PPP lawmakers to vote on Shehbaz's instructions
The PML-N and the PPP, the two biggest opposition parties, have formed a united front in parliament to make it difficult for the government to get its 2021-22 budget approved. “We will give them a tough time,” Opposition Leader Shehbaz Sharif flanked by PPP leader Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and others told reporters. Bilawal has assured Shehbaz that his party lawmakers will support him in Parliament to challenge Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government. “We are giving our votes to leader of opposition Shehbaz Sharif unconditionally to use them against the government,” Bilawal said. Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin presented a Rs8,400 billion budget for the upcoming year on Friday evening. In its budget, the government has announced major tax relief for different sectors and set the GDP growth rate at 4.8%. The government has set a tax collection target of Rs5,829 billion for the next fiscal year, but it remains unclear where this money will come from. News reports suggest the International Monetary Fund wants to impose new tax measures, but the government is reluctant. Its top ministers are saying they will neither introduce new taxes nor increase the current ones, and rather go for expanding the tax net, which means the government will go after tax evaders with a focus on retail sector. Tarin said they would take additional revenue by selling some of the government-owned enterprises, which are not making any profits.