PESHAWAR: The opposition members of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on Friday criticised the PTI government in the province for ignoring its election manifesto in the budget on creation of jobs, construction of houses, and investment in the education sector.
In the sitting chaired by Speaker Mushtaq Ahmad Ghani, they wondered that though the ruling PTI’s projected top agenda was to create 10 million jobs and build five million houses in the country, the budget documents didn’t have a single word about it.
Participating in the debate on the 20180-19 budget, which had begun on Thursday, Ahmad Kareem Kundi of the PPP asked the government about where the jobs promised by the PTI would be created.
“There’s no plan with the government about how to build houses for the poor people as promised by the prime minister,” he insisted.
The opposition lawmaker said the people had expected decrease in the prices of edible and non-edible items after the PTI’s election to power, especially when ‘economists’ had been made the federal and provincial finance ministries, but they’re disappointed after being further burdened with higher prices.
Wonders why govt obtaining loans if budget is surplus
He said if the government’s claim of presenting a surplus budget was true, then why it was obtaining billions of rupees worth of foreign and local loans as shown in the budget documents.
Maulana Lutfur Rehman of the JUI-F wondered why the plans for the construction of houses and creation of jobs weren’t reflected in the budget.
He asked the provincial government about its ‘tall claims’ about improvements in the education sector.
The JUI-F leader wondered if the PTI had succeeded in doing away with the class-based education system in the province.
He said the provincial budget had the Rs57 billion deficit but the government had shown it to be surplus by fudging figures.
“Some good recommendations would have emerged had the government placed the correct budget figures before the house and people,” he said.
Sardar Yousaf of the PML-N said the federal and provincial governments of the PTI had made the people’s life miserable by increasing the prices of electricity, gas and edible items.
“The results of the PTI’s policies are terrible,” he said.
The PML-N leader, a former federal minister, said the opposition would give a tough time to the treasury if it was denied development funds for their respective constituencies.
Parliamentary leader of the ANP Sardar Hussain Babak said the budget documents showed that the government had planned to construct 10 new colleges at the cost of Rs3 billion but just Rs100,000 had been allocated for the purpose in the current fiscal showing the government’s non-serious approach towards the education sector’s improvement.
He said the PTI government had failed to achieve revenue targets during the last six years.
The ANP leader also said tourism was one of the sectors, whose development as claimed by the PTI had been prioritised but ironically, only Rs15 million had been allocated for it in the budget.
He said the poor planning for the Peshawar Bas Rapid Transit project had virtually turned the provincial capital into ruins, while the project’s cost was fast escalating.
The chair adjourned the session until today (Saturday).
Published in Dawn, October 20th, 2018