RAWALPINDI - The traders, clerks, teachers and other scores of workers have vehemently rejected federal budget 2014-15, presented by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, saying the government neglected the poor and working class in the budget.

They demanded of the government to provide relief to the working class, increase their salaries and reduce the prices of edibles and others daily use items. All Pakistan Clerks Association (APCA) while rejecting budget announced observing pen-drop strike and holding a protest rally from National Press Club (NPC) Islamabad to Parliament House and staging a sit-in there for indefinite period against anti-poor budget on Wednesday (today) at 11am.

Usman Ahmed, a labourer, while talking to The Nation said that government failed in providing relief to poor class in budget. He said that the prices of food, vegetables, milk, yogurt, eggs, bread, flour, fruit and other items have been jacked up but no authority was taking notice of this injustice. “I earn Rs 400 daily after picking bricks and concrete tubs. It is impossible for me to feed my family comprising wife and three children,” he said adding that N-league government should take pity on poor instead of sucking their blood.

All Pakistan Clerks Association representatives Syed Hidayat Bukhari, Dost Muhammad Barohi, Khalid Javed Sangheera, Mehboob Ali Bhatti and Malik Adalat Hussain also rejected the budget. They said that their protest would also be joined by teachers and contract employees.  PML-N Central Executive Committee Member and Railways Prem Union Secretary General Ishtiaq Ahmed Aasi also lashed out on government for presenting anti-poor budget. He said that it was expected from the industrialist-cum-rulers that they would present such a disappointing budget. “We reject this budget”. he said. He threatened to launch a protest movement against the government. The 10 percent increase in salaries was not enough in this era of price hike, he said. He said that the already poverty-stricken people would face hardships. He appealed PM to review the steps taken for employees.

“The federal budget 2014-15 is anti-labourers and public enemy” said National Labour Federation Central President Shamas-ur-Rehman Swati. He said that the government has broadened the circle of GST instead of abolishing it. By doing this, the government snatched the loaf from the mouth of poor, he said salaries of employees should be increased as per price hike. “The basic 11000 salary is meager. It should be doubled”.

The federal budget was a serious joke with the teachers and other employees, said Punjab SES Teachers Association President Chaudhry Muhammad Shafique Bhalwalia. He said that the salaries of teachers and other employees were enhanced by Punjab government in budget owing to protests. Teachers rejected the budget and would protest against it, he said. He said that the government should defreeze the house tent that was freezed in 2008. The government imposed taxes in budget instead of enhancing salaries, said Headmasters Association Rawalpindi Division President Chaudhry Muhammad Saghir Alam.