Budget 2020 is simply like this:
Education: Rs.4 billions
Health: Rs.20 billions
Defence: Rs.1402 billions
I know. Education and Health are mainly under provinces (18th Amendment) and will get allocations through provincial budgets as well.
But dear Vawda-kinda! This Rs.1402 billion doesn’t include military pensions (Rs.369 billion which is 79% of federal government’s total pension bill). Major weaponry procurement. Mega projects under FWO. Security enhancement (Rs.45 billion last year). Or businesses. Their revenues. Plots. Potential DHAs.
And supplementary grants? Like the one which they got a month back of Rs.1.66 billion for a surveillance project.
And how many supplementary grants?
There is another calculation which I leave to you: subtract debt programmes from the total federal budget, and then calculate how much is allocated to defence (%age) vs rest of the country – considering we are fighting a pandemic.
Anyway, don’t bother.
But don’t be ill-informed.
And don’t defend the defenders for God sake.
We saw our PM cry every other day for the poor on TV. As he had no strategy or plan to tackle the virus, he offered us crocodiles tears. Regularly. And then his team presented a budget – shamelessly – wherein every single component related to the poor has been robbed.
After him comes Gill. Then Chauhan. Then Rashid. Then the other Rashid. Then Mirza. Then another. Another. Another. And the whole day is spent in press conferences with exactly the same rhetoric.
‘Mafia’ is the new scapegoat.
Who is behind medicine and drugs price hike? Mafia.
Who is behind sugar prices? Mafia.
Who is behind wheat crisis? Mafia.
Who is behind petrol crisis? Mafia.
Who is behind your seat Mr. Prime Minister? Mafia.
Rarely you see doctors on TV. They are not included in committees to handle the virus. They are not allowed to speak publicly. Their voice is completely missing. And the budget too – criminally – has ignored doctors and their advice.
This isn’t war. In fact, there is no war around the world at the moment. The whole world is tackling the same crises and doing its best to prevent it.
And here, in the land of pure, the budget has been prepared based on the same old two nation theory. Diamonds for me. Nickels for you.
Sadly – and honestly – blaming Khan or PTI is foolish too. They aren’t ever in power.
Just like their predecessors.
And their predecessors.
And their predecessors.