PTI’s budget for the fiscal year 2020-21 received mixed reactions on social media, with the majority criticising the government and a few showing appreciation.
Dubbed as a ‘coronavirus budget’, the financial plan for the coming year was welcomed by few, however, others were seen criticising the government for not taking adequate measures to cushion the adverse affects of the virus and not setting the priorities straight in terms of government expenditure.
PPP MNA Naz Baloch was heavily critical of the fact the economy has shrunk for the first time in 68 years.
“First fiscal year after 1952 to record negative growth of [-0.4%],” she said, expressing disapproval.
Secretary Political Affairs Pakistan Youth Parliment Haroon Khan regretted a less than ideal budgetary allocation for education, saying that Harvard University’s budget alone is multiple times more than Pakistan’s entire education budget. He also said the budget was far more in 2018.
“Harvard University’s annual budget is more than $4.5 billion (Rs800 billion). 21,000 students are enrolled at the university. Pakistan’s total higher education budget is $ 18 Crore (Rs29 billion) now. Before 2018, it was Rs108 billion,” he wrote.
A renewable energy researcher at Turkey’s Middle East Technical University Haroon Rasheed said the graph of the GDP growth rate which shows a sharp decline, should just be flipped upside down so one may “praise our handsome leader”.
With mixed opinions flooding the micro-blogging site, a few renowned personalities were seen praising the incumbent government for formulating effective strategies, even in these circumstances.
Journalist Mubashir Zaidi termed it a “good” budget under the prevailing circumstances, noting the inflation target, higher education budget, no new tax policy and FDI increment proposals.
Journalist Mosharraf Zaidi was not as appreciative in his analysis, highlighting that the amount paid by taxpayer rupees to pensioners was just as high as that paid for the running of the federal government.
“Taxpayers are paying as much to retirees as they are for the running of the entire federal government!” he wrote.
On a lighter note, as is tradition, people shared funny memes regarding the decisions taken in the budget.