PESHAWAR: Provincial minister for labour and culture Shaukat Yousafzai on Friday said the annual budget for 2020-21 would be presented in the provincial assembly on June 19 while observing the standard operating procedures.

The budget passage process would be completed on June 28.

The treasury and opposition parties in the KP Assembly met on Friday to frame a strategy for holding the budget session in a manner to save the members of the assembly and its staff from Covid-19.

The meeting was chaired by Speaker Mushtaq Ahmed Ghani, according to a statement issued here.

Minister for labour and culture Shaukat Yousafzai, finance minister Taimur Saleem Jhagra, education minister Akbar Ayub, law minister Sultan Mohammad Khan and Kamran Bangash represented the government, while Mulana Lutfur Rehman, Sardar Hussain Babak, and Sher Azam Wazir represented the opposition in the meeting.

The SOPs on which the treasury and opposition agreed upon were shared with all the members of the assembly.

All the members will be tested one week before the meeting for coronavirus and entry of only those MPAs would be allowed whose result came negative.

The duration of each session would be from 2pm till 5pm.

Social distancing will be ensured in the house and all the members will come to the assembly wearing face masks.

During the session, mediapersons and guests will not be allowed for the budget session.

Shaukat Yousafzai said that the talks between the opposition and the government committee were very fruitful and it was agreed that in this difficult situation, the implementation of SOPs would be ensured.

He said that the precautionary measures had been taken in view of the coronavirus threat so that there was no hindrance in the budget meeting.

The meeting also discussed the distribution of funds between the government and the opposition.

The government delegation listened to the concerns of the opposition and asked for time to meet Chief Minister Mahmood Khan and respond on Tuesday.

Published in Dawn, June 6th, 2020