ISLAMABAD: Members of the National Assembly from both sides of the aisle Wednesday continued debate on the Federal Budget 2018-19, with treasury benches hailing the government’s fiscal plan and the opposition benches highlighting the loopholes to make it more result-oriented.
Participating in the debate, Qari Muhammad Yusuf of Jamiat-e-Ulema Islam-Fazal (JUI-F) stressed the need for promoting interest-free economy in the country.
He also drew the government’s attention towards religious seminaries, which had been ignored in the budget allocations. He condemned attack on Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal.
Shehryar Afridi of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) said the small provinces and Federally Tribal Administrated Tribal Areas (FATA) should not be undermined. He called for giving their rights to the small provinces.
Mir Aijaz Hussain Jakhrani of Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarian (PPPP) said his party had already rejected the budget as the government had no mandate to present the budget for a full year.
He said no relief was given to the poor in the budget as only elites were given incentives.
He claimed that more funds were allocated to Punjab as compared to other provinces in the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for the fiscal year 2018-18. Similarly, more relief was given to industrial and bank sectors as compared to agriculture sector in the budget, he added.
He criticized the ministers for not ensuring their presence in the House. He also called for continuation of the democratic process and holding of timely general elections.
Captain (R) Muhammad Safdar of the PML-N said the accused held in the murder case of Benazir Bhutto should not be bailed out.
Haji Ghulam Ahmed Bilour of Awami National Party (ANP) while participating in the debate urged the government to increase the salaries of government employees by 20 percent instead of 10 percent. He also drew the attention of the government towards the unemployment issue.
PPPP’s Nawab Yousuf Talpur said Sindh was facing water shortage and urged the government to help resolve it as soon as possible.
PkMAP chief Mahmood Khan Achakzai said Pakistan was passing through a crucial time and prudent measures were needed to save it. A roundtable conference could be held to help resolve the issues being faced by the country, he added.—APP