Bilawal announces to provide constitutional protection to BISP


ISLAMABAD, Jun 25 (Alliance News): Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Tuesday appreciated the government’s proposal to increase the allocation for Benazir Income Support Program (BISP) by 27% and announced plans to provide constitutional cover to it.

Participating in the budget debate, he said the objective behind this constitutional cover was to ensure that no future government could reverse the program, following the example of other countries that wanted to provide relief to their masses.

“This program should be provided with constitutional cover so that nobody can reverse it,” the PPP chairman said.

The proposed increase in BISP allocation underscores the government’s focus on social welfare and poverty alleviation, reaffirming its dedication to the welfare of the most vulnerable segments of society, he added.

He regretted that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government tried to end this program, which provided support to thousands of families in the country.

The chairman noted that data gathered for the BISP was being used during floods and other climate disasters to provide relief to the people.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that the main issues facing common people were inflation and unemployment and
urged all political parties to sit together and come up with suggestions to overcome these problems.

He believed that it would have been much better if the government had consulted with allied and opposition parties before preparing the budget.

“We know the difficulties of the government; if the consultation had been held, the outcome would have been much better,” he added.

The chairman said that the people of the country were not concerned with the problems of political parties, adding they wanted solutions to their own problems.

He proposed to prepare an economic plan with consultation and consensus from all political parties for the next 20 years to ensure sustainable economic growth.

“It will ensure continuity of the policies, and whoever is in the government, the policies will be followed for the long term,” he said.

While endorsing the proposal of a ‘Charter of Economy’ by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Bilawal said that political parties in the parliament should be taken into confidence on this important issue.

He appreciated the government’s efforts in bringing down inflation and expressed hope that the policies would be continued to provide relief to the masses.

The chairman suggested the government to focus on direct taxes instead of indirect taxes and review the proposed taxes in the 2024-25 budget.

Sharing the achievements of his government in the past, he mentioned that the PPP government made Pakistan a rice and wheat exporter instead of an importer.

Bilawal also suggested the government abolish subsidies and provide direct relief to the farmers.

He called on the government to announce establishment of IT parks in every division of the country through public-private partnerships.

He believed the initiative would facilitate the provision of high-speed broadband internet services, extending from the mountains of Gilgit to every corner of the nation.

The chairman suggested that the federal government could effectively address the issue of load shedding by promoting solar energy.

Advocating for increased utilization of solar power, windmills, and hydroelectric sources, he said that these efforts would not only bolster the national economy but also yield positive environmental benefits.

He further advocated for reducing the import bill by utilizing coal from Thar instead of importing it.

The chairman said according to constitutional provisions, regions that produce natural resources such as gas should have the primary claim on these resources.

Implementing this principle, he asserted, would bring about an economic revolution in underdeveloped areas—a step he commended the Prime Minister for considering.

Bilawal expressed his party’s commitment to progressive taxation, noting discussions with the Finance Minister aimed at broadening the tax base.

He said that the PPP advocated for taxing the wealthy rather than burdening the poor.

However, he expressed regret over the country’s failure to succeed in this endeavor, which he identified as a primary reason for Pakistan’s economic challenges.

The chairman asserted that expanding the tax base necessitated a shift towards direct taxation.

He called for a collaborative approach with the public to develop successful revenue-increasing policies.