Punjab Assembly approves budget 2020-21; Finance Bill 2020 also approved without amendment; Resolution to use suffix ‘Khatam an Nabiyeen’ after writing or uttering name of Prophet Muhammad (S.A.A.W.) unanimously adopted

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Punjab Assembly approves budget 2020-21; Finance Bill 2020 also approved without amendment; Resolution to use suffix ‘Khatam an Nabiyeen’ after writing or uttering name of Prophet Muhammad (S.A.A.W.) unanimously adopted

ISLAMABAD-Punjab Assembly on Friday approved the annual budget for the fiscal year 2020-21 through majority vote among an uproarious opposition which staged a walk-out against the passage of the budget and the Finance Bill 2020.

Finance Bill 2020 was presented by Finance Minister Makhdoom Hashim Jawan Bakht and it was passed without any amendment as all Cut Motions and recommendation by the opposition were rejected by the House. Leader of the House Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar was present in the House during passage of the budget.

Punjab Assmebly session started 2 hours 5 minutes behind its scheduled time of 2 p.m. Speaker Punjab Assembly Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi chaired the session. The government had introduced a heavy agenda items in the House with 6 bills and extension in three ordinances besides the Finance Bill 2020.

The House witnessed another raucous session when the opposition members laid another siege of the Speaker’s dais – a repeat of the budget day session when the opposition protested and staged a walk-out led by the opposition leader Hamza Shehbaz Sharif – after the chair allowed the treasury resolution for extension in three ordinances during the budget session. The opposition maintained that no bill except the Finance Bill could be introduced during the budget session, terming the act as rigging. The opposition members walked out of the House in protest.

The legislation was approved as the government had the number to ensure passage of the six other bills.

The government passed Kohsar University, Murree Bill 2020, Baba Guru Nanak University Nankana Sahib Bill 2020, The Punjab Local Government (Amendment) Bill 2020 and The Punjab Village Panchayats and Neighborhood Councils (Amendment) Bill 2020 along with the one The Punjab Finance Bill. Three ordinances were also extended for another 90 days including The Punjab Prevention of Hoarding Ordinance 2020, The Punjab Private Educational Institutions (Promotion and Regulation) (Amendment) Ordinance 2020 and The Code of Civil Procedure Punjab (Amendment) Ordinance 2020.

Though the opposition did not sit in the House during the passage of the bills laid by the treasury, it made its presence known outside the House and made fiery speeches, alleging the government was bulldozing the legislation process. Opposition MPAs Rana Mashhood Ahmed Khan, Samiullah Khan, Syed Hassan Murtaza and Malik Ahmed delivered speeches outside the House.

Earlier, the House unanimously adopted two resolutions tabled by treasury MPAs Neelum Hayat and Moavia Azam which said the legislation should be ensured that whenever name of the Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) is mentioned or written it should be followed by the suffix ‘Khatam-un-Nabiyeen’ (Last among the Prophets of Allah). The other resolution hailed Speaker Punjab Assembly Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi’s, mover of the resolution MPA Khadija Umer, parliamentary leaders and the members Punjab Assembly who had unanimously adopted the legislation in the Punjab Assembly in which the Punjab Textbook and Curriculum Board (PTCB) were bound by law to get all books relating to Islamic history, ideology and life and family of the Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) Kahtam-un-Nabiyeen must be got vetted by the religious scholars before printing and publication.

Speaker Punjab Assembly, later, adjourned the session to meet again on June 28 (Monday) at 2 p.m.