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.