Punjab Assembly continues budget debate

Punjab Assembly continues budget debate

LAHORE: The Punjab Assembly (PA) Friday continued general discussion on annual budget 2018-19.

Six lawmakers including provincial ministers Chaudhry Zaheeruddin, Fayyazul Hassan Chohan and Muhammad Basharat Raja and Mumtaz Ali of Pakistan People's Party (PPP), Dr Muhammad Afzal and Uzma Kardar participated in the debate.

Two newly-elected Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf lawmakers, Syed Sumsam Bokhari and Zohra Batool, took oath as members of the Punjab Assembly. Deputy Speaker Dost Muhammad Mazari administered the oath to the new members.

On Friday, the second sitting of the third (budget) session of the current assembly commenced an hour and 40 minutes late of its schedule, with Deputy Speaker Sardar Dost Muhammad Mazari in the chair.

Finance Minister Makhdoom Hashim Jawan Bakht remained present in the house to note down members' proposals for their inclusion in the budget suggestions.

Taking part in the budget discussion, treasury members were all praise for the government for presenting a people-friendly budget in tough circumstances. They said that the allocations made in the budget would be fairly utilised on welfare of masses. They condemned opposition for not taking part in the budget and indulging in undue protests.

They urged the opposition leader to come in the house and present positive proposals for finalising the budget.

Opposition leader in the PA, Hamza Shahbaz, did not attend the sitting as a token of protest against suspension of assembly membership of six PML-N lawmakers, as they were found guilty of damaging belongings of the House during the budget speech.

Earlier, as the session started, a PML-N lawmaker Mian Tahir Jamil pointed out quorum, but it was found complete on head count.

On the second instance, the same opposition lawmaker again identified the quorum and the chair ordered for ringing bells for five minutes and the treasury fetched the required strength in the house. However, the chair adjourned the House to meet again on Oct 22, 2018 at 2pm.