ISLAMABAD -  The way the government has come up with incentives and relief for almost all the segments of society and announced massive allocations for energy and road infrastructure projects showed the current budget is prepared keeping in view the next general elections.

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar presenting the sixth budget of the incumbent government, which is a record in itself, came up with allocations for all and sundry, showing the government’s intention to give budget a relief-oriented look.

The massive allocations for power generation projects and road infrastructure also showed the government’s intention of cashing in on the mega projects in party’s campaign for the next general elections, political analysts commented.

The CPEC related projects were also under the spotlight with Rs180 billion allocation while some 31 mega projects were also approved for Gawadr which also included desalination plant for provision of clean drinking water to this fast growing port city.

The massive allocation of Rs1,000 billion for grant of loans to small farmers also showed the government’s intention of winning over the support of the farmers community, especially the small farmers in the upcoming general elections.

Among the other popular decisions of the government which give it a welfare budget included allocation of Rs121 billion for BISP while the allocation of Rs20 billion for Prime Minister’s laptop scheme also showed it amply clears that the government was in mood of appeasing the general public ahead of the next general elections.

Most of the parliamentarians in opposition, who had completely rejected the budget, were anticipating the government’s intention and some of them considered it the last budget of the incumbent government as they were expecting the next general elections a little ahead of the schedule.

The Opposition MPs were of the view that the government would stretch its rule till next March when the Senate elections will be held and soon after the Senate elections they would announce the date for next general elections.

The focus of the government remained appeasement of the every segment of society. The reduction in taxes on small cars 850 to 1300 cc, decrease in the prices of fertilisers, relaxation in duty on poultry and ostrich farming, pay and pension increase were some of the key indicators of public appeasement by the government.

But on the other hand, the allocation for education, health and human development were negligible and the main focus of the government remained on mega structural projects on which they could play in the election campaign.

Similarly, the government badly failed to meet the revenue targets and setting the high target of revenue collection for FBR seemed a bit irrational.

On the other hand setting high export targets when in the last fiscal the country’s export had not shown much improvement also seemed far from reality with little or no relevance to the ground reality.

No concrete steps were taken for bringing improvement in the agriculture sector as small loans to the farming community would further make the sector dependent and stay out of competitiveness, commented an agriculturist.