During the meeting, the PPP said that they were ready to cooperate but their reservation should be addressed,

As Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) continue their talks, Prime Minister’s Adviser on Political Affairs Rana Sanaullah claimed that his party has managed to address the latter’s reservations over budget 2024-25. 

He made these comments a day after the coalition partners held committee-level talks to discuss budget issues after the Bilawal Bhutto-led party raised concerns for not taking it to confidence regarding the budget.

Speaking during Geo News programme “Naya Pakistan” on Saturday, Sanaullah said: “We have held a meeting yesterday and we will summon another meeting on Sunday. PPP had the same concerns regarding the funds for their constituency and they were legitimate. Our people have the same demands.”

Sanaullah, who is also PML-N’s Punjab president, said that the recommendations his party made after the consultations would manage to resolve all the issues, assuring that the budget will now pass.

The prime minister’s adviser on political and public affairs, while speaking about the complaints regarding the budget, said that the discussions also take place before presenting the budget.

The former interior minister added that complaints still emerge after the budget is tabled as no parties’ input is incorporated in the financial blueprint to the letter. Resultantly, debate takes place in the Parliament over it.

The PML-N-led coalition government has set a challenging tax revenue target of Rs13 trillion for the year starting July 1, a near 40% jump from the current year, in the budget that looked to strengthen the case for a new bailout deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The ambitious revenue targets for the fiscal year through June 2025, presented by Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb in parliament on June 12, were in line with analyst expectations. Total spending was Rs18.87 trillion.

PPP-PML-N talks

In the meeting on Friday between the two parties, the PPP, said the sources, received assurances from the PML-N regarding the redressal of all of their reservations be it pertaining to budget or the Punjab government.

The senior leaders of the two parties met in the federal capital after PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto’s meeting with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif where a decision was made to form committees to resolve the matter.

Insiders said Bilawal, in the meeting, had voiced his reservations over the federal government’s “non-seriousness” towards different projects in Sindh.

During the committee-level talks, PML-N complained about PPP bringing forward its reservations at the time of the budget announcement.

“Even during the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) government, the PPP created an issue out of the flood fund during the budget,” the PML-N leaders said.

The PML-N members, as per the sources, said that the Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah and senior party leaders were taken into confidence on the main points while preparing the budget.

“Despite these [briefings], the party protested after the budget was presented. This wasn’t appropriate. Also, the PPP didn’t join the cabinet in Punjab and Centre, despite several invitations.”

“Important constitutional positions were also given to the PPP according to its wish,” said sources within the PML-N.

However, on the other hand, the PPP complained of not being trusted by the ‘N’ league.

“You consider us allies, but you do not take us into confidence. The PPP supported PML-N with regard to all important issues including the election of prime minister and speaker.”

During the meeting, the PPP said that they were ready to cooperate but their reservation should be addressed, to which the PML-N agreed.


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2024-06-23

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