LAHORE: The PPP, PML-Q and Pakistan Awami-i-Tehreek have rejected the Punjab budget saying it offers ‘no relief’ to common man.
“There is no relief for the poor, farmers, youth and common man in the budget instead this will increase poverty, lawlessness and corruption,” PML-Q Parliamentary Leader in Punjab Assembly Moonis Elahi said here on Friday.
He said it had again been proved by the new budget that health and education problems of the common man were not included in the priority list of the PML-N govternemnt.
“The government’s priorities are only to show off the projects on which photos of Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif are displayed,” he said.
Moonis Elahi said like the federal government, employees the Punjab government too were very disappointed because of a nominal increase in their salaries. He said inefficiency of the rulers was evident from the fact that more than 50 per cent of the Punjab budget 2014-15 had not been utilized yet.
PML-Q MPAs Sardar Vickas Hasan Mokal, Aamir Sultan Cheema, Sardar Asif Nakai, Mohammad Shah Khagga, Dr Mohammad Afzal, Baasima Chaudhry and Khadeeja Farooqi said in a statement that so-called finance minister knew little about the budget allocations when its copy was handed over to her.
“Nominal funds have been allocated for higher education, only projects in Lahore have been given priority. Funds have been allocated for mausoleums but living human beings and their health, education and protection have been ignored,” it said.
The PML-Q MPAs further said Punjab had surplus funds during the tenure of Pervaiz Elahi and now the province was under heavy debt of Rs 700 billion of internal and external banks.
PPP central Punjab president Mian Manzoor Wattoo said the finance minister’s speech promised that honey and milk would flow in Punjab by the end of 2017. “Such unfounded optimism will meet the same fate as the chief minister made tall claims of controlling the load shedding in months and not in years,” he said, adding after coming to power it could contribute only 100 MWs to the national grid in more than two years.
He said there was no good news for farmers and non-gazetted government servants. He said the affairs of education, health, infrastructure and lack of clean drinking water reflected the poor priorities of this government.
Pakistan Awami Tehreek President Dr Raheeq Ahmed Abbasi said it was not the Punjab’s budget but “Shahbaz’ Budget”. He said the CM had kept Rs100 billion for projects of his liking like Khadem-e-Punjab Road Programme, Laptop, Danish Schools, Orange and Metro Bus service and a helicopter.
Dr Abbasi said the experienced CM had failed in his 25 years political career to produce a finance minster in his party. “In seven years we have seen seven finance ministers”, he said.
Published in Dawn, June 13th, 2015