KARACHI: With the session of the provincial assembly set to begin from Wednesday (today), the Sindh government has announced that it will present its budget for the next financial year on Friday.
Opposition parties, however, criticised the decision to summon the assembly session two days before the budget, saying it was a waste of public money.
Officials said Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, who also holds the portfolio of finance, would present the budget for financial year 2019-2020 at 3pm in the Sindh Assembly building on June 14.
The CM would address a post-budget press conference on Saturday.
A notification issued by the Sindh Assembly’s secretariat said Deputy Speaker Rehana Laghari, who is acting speaker as Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani is in the custody of the National Accountability Bureau, had summoned the session of the provincial legislature on Wednesday (today) at 2pm.
The session, however, would be converted into the budget session from Friday when the budget would be presented before the house.
‘Waste of public money’
Leader of the Opposition in the Sindh Assembly Firdous Shamim Naqvi of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf has criticised the summoning of the PA session on Wednesday by the acting speaker and termed it a waste of public money.
Accompanied by Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan lawmakers Mohammad Hussain, Waseem Qureshi and others, he told a press conference at his residence on Tuesday night that the opposition parties would formulate their strategy for the session.
He said the acting speaker without realising that one-day assembly session cost Rs8 million to the exchequer had summoned the session on a few hours’ notice with the signature of 50 treasury members.
He said that under the rules of business the deputy speaker could summon the session within a week of receiving the requisition.
Without naming former president Asif Ali Zardari, he greeted the nation on his arrest.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Hussain of the MQM-P said that it was mysterious the way the assembly session had been summoned. He said 65 members of the opposition would be in the house to respond fully to the treasury benches.
He said a protest would be lodged in the session against corruption.
Meanwhile, Labour Minister Murtaza Baloch said the budget “will definitely be friendly for workers and rest of the population of Sindh”.
He said workers and their families would be given maximum benefits and their rights would be protected as well.
“Pakistan Peoples Party’s chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari has directed the Sindh government to provide better healthcare, education and other facilities to workers and their families,” said Mr Baloch. “Following the vision of Bilawal, we will present a budget friendly for people of Sindh for the next financial year.”
Published in Dawn, June 12th, 2019