Opposition members take government to task over budget debate in NA

Opposition members take government to task over budget debate in NA

ISLAMABAD, June 11 (APP): Opposition members take government to task over budget debate in NA


Opposition legislators on Saturday alleged that current enhanced size of 'begging bowl' may endanger  the country's sovereignty, but the treasury bench totally rejected  this concern and apprehension.


Resuming budget discussion in National Assembly, Opposition legislators said budget ought to be people-oriented and alleged  that it might benefit contractor and commission mafia.


They said the federal budget should be thoroughly discussed  in Parliament's standing committees.


Ms Beelum Hasnain of Pakistan People's Party, criticizing  the budget, said salaries and perks of government servants should  be enhanced further besides unification of civil service structure.


Arifa Khalid Pervaiz of Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) termed the budget as balanced and growth-oriented saying middle  class should be provided maximum facilities. She demanded enhanced facilities for women.


Aqibullah of PTI said no policy had been devised for overcoming  huge budget of Rs 1,615 billion. It seems that the government had  enhanced the size of 'begging bowl', he alleged.


Criticizing elimination of subsidy, he said subsidy on  fertilizers had been decreased significantly. He claimed that  the government had achieved revenue targets through indirect  taxes while Rs 138 billion direct taxes had not been received  from the rich.


He alleged that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was being deprived of  its allocated development funds share.


Malik Shakir Bashir Awan of PML-N lauded incentives,  offered in the budget for agriculture sector. He demanded  zero-rated duty on import of machinery.


He said the interest on agriculture loans, taken by Thal  farmers, should be abolished and electricity tariff of Khushab  farmers should be fixed. University campus should be established  in Khushab district, he added.


Ms Nafeesa Shah of Pakistan People's Party drew the  attention of the House towards some recent burning incidents  of women. The crime was perpetrated mostly by their own  community members and close relatives, she added.


She called for adopting a resolution to condemn such  incidents and taking action and necessary legislation in  this regard. She demanded a powerfull body to probe crimes  against women.


Criticizing Women Parliamentary Caucus, she said the  opposition will not be responsible for any future division  in the WPC.


Terming the federal budget as 'offshore budget', she  said PPP was doing positive politics of opposition. She  emphasized for producing less expensive electricity. Foreign  loans are likely to increase Rs 90 billion by the year 2018,  she added.


Ms Aasiya Nasir of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F)  demanded maximum role of elected representatives in budget  formulation process, saying budget should be discussed  threadbare at standing committees.


The cost of debt servicing have reached to phenomenal  Rs 105 billion, ahe added.


She lamented that unemployment has increased in contrary  to claims of the government. The consumption of flour and milk  had decreased due to increase in poverty and high prices, she  added.


At the very outset of the proceedings, Ms Shireen Mazari  of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) drew the attention of the  Speaker towards the incident of thrashing of Marvi Sarmad  by JUI-F Senator Hafiz Hamdullah during a TV show and urged  the Speaker to do something for safeguarding the prestige of  the womenfolk.


Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq said everyone should respect  the women folk, irrespective of their political affiliation.