Nisha Arif

PESHAWAR: As the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly Saturday approved budget of Rs1,118 billion for the fiscal year 2021-22, people from different walks of life showed mixed reaction about it.

Fifty-six years old Zenab Bibi from Peshawar says the government should have taken measures for halting the storm of unprecedented price hike. She says the government made several claims about making edibles and commodities cheaper, but nothing is visible on ground.

However, Kulsoom, a teacher at a government school, is very happy over 37 percent increase in salaries of government employees, and says it is a handsome increase keeping in view the overall economic situation of the country. She says the government was unable to give any raise in salaries last year due to the coronavirus situation, and the employees should consider them lucky that they have got raise this time.

However, the situation is different for employees who work in private sector, as the raise in salaries in not applicable on private employees and their condition is all the same.

Some government employees are of the view that the raise in salaries is not according to inflation rate.

The announcement of the government to increase the minimum wage in KP to Rs21,000 has received appreciation, but still its implementation in private sector will remain a challenge.

Everyone knows that private schools, factories and other institutions are not implementing the minimum wage rule, and many of them are doing this just on paper. Such private organisations trick the authorities by signing contacts with workers with minimum wage of Rs21,000, but actually pay them much lesser. Such employees are threatened to be sacked if they dare to raise voice against this injustice.

During the coronavirus lockdowns, most of private educational institutions remained closed and teachers were relieved from jobs on pretext of financial issues. The financial condition of employees associated with private educational institutions and factories worsened during lockdowns and no one came to their help. No special package was announced for such employees.

Most of the people commenting on budget have singled out the inflation as the toughest challenge facing the government, and said problems will remain until this issue is addressed.

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