Govt makes efforts to woo PPP over budget 2024 rift

Islamabad: The PML-N-led federal government has intensified efforts to placate Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) following the latter’s criticism for not taking its input at all while preparing the annual budget 2024-25.

Sources said the government has invited the Bilawal Bhutto-led party for another round of talks, which the party has accepted.

According to sources, the two sides have agreed to continue the dialogue process and the PPP delegation will meet with government representatives tomorrow.

The previous round of talks between the government and the People’s Party ended without a breakthrough, sources added. PPP has decided not to back down from its demands, including the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) issue.

The PPP has vowed to continue protesting until its concerns are addressed, sources said, noting that the absence of Bilawal Bhutto and Aseefa Bhutto from the budget session is a clear message.

Finance Minister Aurangzeb presented the Rs18.877 trillion relief-oriented federal budget for the fiscal year 2024-25.

The budget session started with a nearly two-hour delay after the PPP voiced reservations on the development allocations.

The Bilawal Bhutto-led party earlier decided not to attend the Pakistan Budget 2024 session in National Assembly, but the PML-N managed to placate them.

Later, the PPP lawmakers attended the session to complete the required quorum without party chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.

Earlier, Khurshid Shah said the party had reservations with regard to the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) budget and that the PPP should have been taken into confidence for the budget.

“It was decided that the PSDP for the four provinces would be decided together,” he said while speaking to the media.