LAHORE - Secretary Information PPP, Qamar Zaman Kaira has criticised the caretaker government for introducing ‘mini budget of Rs.152 billion’ and described it as unconstitutional, maintaining that taxes can only be levied by the parliament elected by the people of Pakistan.

He requested the Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry to take suo moto action like in the recent case of postings/transfers as the matter was of immense importance and public interest.

In a press statement on Thursday, Kaira said the mandate of the caretaker government was to assist the Election Commission of Pakistan to hold fair, free and transparent elections and facilitate the democratic transition and run the day- to- day affairs of the state. Caretaker government is barred from taking such decisions as tax proposals when the new elected government is about to assume government responsibilities within days, he added.

The PPP leader said that he failed to understand the move of the caretakers at this time when the elected government as a result of May 11 elections was going to assume the reins of office very soon. He added that the National Assembly session to elect leader of the house was scheduled to be held on May 28.

Kaira asserted that the caretaker govt’s initiative was tantamount to crossing the limits imposed by the mandate which strictly prohibited decisions having bearings on the constitution, international relations and conventions with the other countries.

He urged the caretaker government to withdraw the tax proposals and let the new government take the decision in this regard, because the elected government was allowed by the constitution and the people of Pakistan to impose taxes.

The sales tax, he stated, could be levied after consulting the provincial governments and the council of common interests was the right forum on the subject.

“It is not the job of the caretaker government to impose taxes which are the sole domain of the elected government and the parliament,” he concluded.