While addressing the floor of the National Assembly, Shaukat Tarin on Tuesday said that a comprehensive roadmap to uplift the poor of the country has been presented for the first time in the country’s history in the budget 2021-22. “People claimed to provide bread and butter and other things to the poor but failed in doing so, ” he said and added that PTI is serving the masses and we do not believe in mere slogans. The minister held the past government responsible for neglecting the agriculture sector for which the incumbent government is importing wheat, ghee, and pulses. We have proposed Rs63 billion for the uplift of the agriculture sector in the FY 2021-22 budget, he maintained. “Insha Allah prosperity would be witnessed at a grass root level in the next few years.” On the IMF bailout package, Tarin said the wrongdoings of the past government compelled the PTI government to go into a fresh IMF programme. He said we are trying to expand the tax net in order to run the country better and advised the opposition members to do constructive criticism. For the Ehsaas Programme, the finance minister said Rs260 billion have been proposed for the financial grants in the upcoming financial year 2021-22. Poverty alleviation Road-Map for 2021-22 The Minister said that core inflation is still at 7 percent, food inflation is high and the only solution to current inflation is to increase agricultural production. He said the major cause for food inflation is the rise in international prices, which has led to higher inflation. In the financial year 2021-22, the government will spend Rs. 150 billion directly and indirectly in the agricultural sector, in addition to the Rs. 12 billion allocated in the coming budget for this sector. He said that Rs.70 billion would be spent on fertilizer and Rs. 30 billion on pesticide in different forms of subsidies for the agricultural sector. The Minister said that the previous Muslim League-N government had left a Current Account Deficit (CAD) of $ 20 billion, which the Pakistan Tehreek Insaf (PTI) government turned into surplus which was the major economic success. “The government had already introduced reforms in the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to change the system through automation of the institution and ensure transparency for achieving the annual revenue target,” he said. Tarin said that there would be no harassment for new tax filers but some measure would be taken by the government and only third parties would have a mandate to negotiate with them to settle the tax issues. He said, the government has decided to introduce the ‘Universal Self-Assessment’ for engaging a third party approach to conduct the audit of 15 million potential taxpayers. In addition, the government has exempted tax on children’s milk, medicines, poultry, mobiles and medical equipment and the Information Technology (IT) sector to grant relief to the people.