Pakistan: Zardari, Gilani to get lifelong security
Islamabad: Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani will be provided security cover throughout their lifetime. A provision in this regard has been made for the first time in this year's budget unveiled on Friday, Geo News reported.
Both the leaders will continue to enjoy security cover even after demitting their respective offices. A provision ensuring this has been included in the annual budget for 2012-13 which was announced by Finance Minister Hafeez Shaikh in the National Assembly.
According to the Finance Bill 2012, the government proposed amendment of Act IX of 1975 in the President's Pension Act by inserting a clause under which provision for suitable security, including services of personnel, vehicle or vehicles and allied matters, has been made. This will be notified in the official gazette.
In the prime minister's salary, a new section shall be added in the Allowance and Privileges Act 1975. It states that every person having held this office for not less than two years shall be entitled to suitable security for life.
Geo News reported that various sections of people have expressed shock over the latest provisions in the budget, saying that the prime minister and president can take care of their own security and the public should not be forced to suffer the burden of their security.
On Friday, the Pakistan People’s Party-led government presented its fifth annual budget amid exchange of heated words and blows among the members of the opposition and the government.
The rate of inflation is expected to remain in the range of 11-12 percent in FY 2012-13 while the GDP rate has been fixed at 4.2 percent. Total revenue collection has been projected at over Rs 2.5 trillion.
Defence allocation for the next fiscal year has been fixed at Rs 545 billion while Rs 70 billion will be spent on the Benazir Income Support Programme.
According to Daily Times, the annual budget for the year 2012-13 appears to be "a jugglery of words" and is unlikely to provide any relief to the masses.
The budget appears to be "murky and hazy" with clear indication that a mini-budget is not far away, which would only overburden the poor and helpless masses of the country, it added.