Pakistan's National Budget: Rising Defence Expenditures, Low Growth and Low Revenue Collection...
By S. Akbar Zaidi, Dawn, June 4, 2011
Compared to his budget speech last year, the finance minister’s speech yesterday was empty and disappointing. It was devoid of much content or merit and failed to identify or address any of Pakistan’s numerous pressing problems.
It is difficult to say what more he would have added had he not faced much of the abuse hurled at the government, something which only a full reading of the text will reveal.
Based on what he presented just a day earlier in the form of Pakistan’s Economic Survey for the current financial year, the budget presented by the finance minister yesterday for the fiscal year 2011-12, confirms what many economists have been saying for some time.
There is a huge disconnect between the real problems which afflict Pakistan’s economy and its people, and the government’s response to them. It seems that this government does not have the ability, or perhaps even the desire, to address Pakistan’s key economic problems.
It certainly does not have a plan. What makes matters for worse is that this is the last-but-one budget before elections are held and the budget to be announced next June will have to be a populist election budget which tries to win votes rather than take difficult decisions.
Because of this, the budget presented yesterday was a major disappointment and fails to address Pakistan’s economic problems, and will only make matters worse.
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Budget 2010-2011: Defence spending up by 12% - Express Tribune
Pakistan Budget Seen Lackluster - WSJ
Pakistan Aims to Cut Budget Gap, Spur Growth Amid Taliban Threat - Bloomberg
Text of budget speech 2011-12 by Pakistan's Finance Minister - The News
Vast debt highlights Pakistan's budget - The National