With the government all set to present its mini-budget in the lower house of parliament on Monday (tomorrow), the opposition parties have vowed to block its passage.

Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif on Saturday announced that the joint opposition would block the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) mini-budget, saying its passage would be tantamount to committing “national suicide”.

The NA opposition leader, who is also the president of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), said that a collective strategy would be devised through a consensus with the joint opposition to block and reject the mini-budget because it jeopardises the economic sovereignty of the country.

As the opposition parties braced to give a tough time to the government, President Dr Arif Alvi summoned a session of the National Assembly on December 13 (Monday) at 4pm.

“PPP rejects the IMF and the government’s mini-budget,” Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Senator Sherry Rehman said, adding that the terms of the agreement with the IMF are being kept secret.

On the government’s claim that the inflation would decrease in the coming months, the PPP senator questioned how was the government claiming that food prices would not go up, especially after increasing petroleum levy and sales tax that will make everything more expensive.

Regretting that the government is going to present another mini-budget in line with its disastrous agreement with the IMF, Sherry said, “Now, with 17% GST on many items, inflation will increase and put more pressure on those who are fed up with the PTI’s failed policies. The country is in dire need of an economic recovery plan.”

“The government must resign instead of further destroying the economy with such a disastrous mini-budget prepared by the IMF.”

Reportedly, the government has finalised a mini-budget involving fiscal adjustments and expenditure cuts worth about Rs600 billion as part of an understanding with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Just five months ago, the government had presented a pro-growth budget. It has now announced presenting a mini-budget and taking steps that would pave the way for the approval of the IMF board in the middle of January for the release of $1 billion loan.