Punjab Assembly adopts 43 motions to slash fiscal 2019 budget

Updated October 25, 2018

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A File photo of Punjab CM Usman Buzdar.
A File photo of Punjab CM Usman Buzdar.

The Punjab Assembly on Thursday adopted 43 motions aimed at slashing the annual provincial budget for fiscal 2018-19 with majority consensus.

Since the PML-N did not attend the budgetary sessions in protest against the suspension of its six MPAs, no resolutions for budget cuts from their side could be tabled.

As a result, the budget and the finance bill, which could have otherwise taken days to get approved, were approved within minutes.

"This is the first budget of Punjab's history that has been accepted by all," Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar said in his speech. "This is an honour for me and the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf.

"We will not do any illegal work nor stop any legal work. We will work in all districts with the consultation of the members of this assembly," he promised.

The chief minister also said that "a pre-budget discussion will be held before the next budget" and that "the next budget will be devised after consulting the MPAs."

Punjab's annual budget, finance bill and developmental schemes for fiscal year 2018-19 were first approved with majority consensus on October 16.

During that session, the cabinet members had been apprised of the salient features of the provincial budget and annual development schemes envisioned for the province, for which cabinet members had presented their viewpoints in return.

However, the all-important session had been marred by the PML-N led opposition's rowdyism, with members of the treasury and opposition coming to blows during Punjab Finance Minister Hashim Bakht's speech.