While criticizing the Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Mian Mazoor Wattoo, President Punjab PPP, demanded that he should at least announce a raise of 20% in the salaries of the government servants and the pensioners because they have been badly hit by the unprecedented increase in the food items under the use of the common man.
He said that due to the withdrawal of subsidies under IMF tutelage the spiral increase in overall prices had been phenomenal not withstanding the inflation on food items.
He maintained that the prices of the food items had risen to four times as compared to the PPP previous government when these were available to all and sundry at affordable rates.
He reminded that the PPP government increased the government employees’ salaries to the extent of 150% during the five years with a view to improve their quality of life.
PPP government is known among government employees for giving substantial increase in their salaries and their assessment is not misplaced when judged from the track record, he pointed out.
He observed that the present government policies had been anti-poor, anti- government employees and heavily pro-capitalists. The government is treading on the trajectory of squeezing the poor dry adding its largesse towards the crony capitalism had been stuffing their deep pockets at the expense of the poorest of the poor.
He referred to the recent doling out of more than 300 billion of rupees to the capitalists in the shape of tax and custom duties exemptions. The amount should have been collected by the government to provide relief to the down trodden, he stated.
He predicted that the indication of the Finance Minister of raising 10% salaries of the government servants in the forthcoming budget would be too little too late and would trigger wide spread protest against him and the government that might create serious law and order situation.
He suggested that the Finance Minister should meet the representative bodies of the government employees to work out a mutually agreed formula regarding the increase of salaries to pre-empt the untoward situation.