QUETTA: The opposition in the Balochistan Assembly on Thursday rejected the provincial budget for financial year 2020-21 and termed it anti-people. Members on treasury benches, however, said that despite a financial crisis in the country and other difficulties the provincial government had presented what they called a people-friendly budget.
The Balochistan Assembly session was presided over by Speaker Mir Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo.
Ahmed Nawaz Baloch of the Balochistan National Party-Mengal (BNP-M) while opening the debate on the Balochistan budget strongly criticised it and said that the government had once again ignored constituencies of the opposition members in the budget. He claimed that huge funds had been allocated for constituencies of ministers and members belonging to ruling parties.
He said the provincial government had failed in solving the problem of the shortage of drinking water in the province. Safe drinking water was not available for the people not only in far-flung areas of the province, but also in the provincial capital, he added.
While terming the budget anti-people, he claimed that the health sector had been ignored in it. Enough funds had not been allocated to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. He said the government had failed to stop the spread of coronavirus in the province, adding that cases of the deadly virus were increasing rapidly in the province.
He said that unemployment and inflation were increasing and the government has done nothing to control the price hike in the province. He said the government had not provided a plan for providing jobs to young educated people. “This is not a budget, but a prescription for destruction,” Ahmed Nawaz said, adding that the budget would have a negative impact on whatever remaining signs of economic progress seen in the province.
The BNP-M member condemned the Dhanak incident in Turbat and declared it against the norms and traditions of the Baloch society.
Nasarullah Khan Zerey of the Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) claimed that targets in the Balochistan budget for the next financial years were unrealistic. He expressed concern that the budget would increase difficulties of the people. He said the government had failed in achieving its targets for revenue collection, fiscal deficit and the GDP growth.
He said the government had once again allocated fewer funds for projects under the next year’s public sector development programme in the constituencies of the opposition members. Rejecting the budget, he said the opposition parties would not accept it.
Rejecting the opposition members’ criticism, Minister for Agriculture Engineer Zamarak Khan Piralizai said that despite facing a shortage of resources the provincial government presented a people-friendly budget. He said the government believed in equal development in all districts of Balochistan.
Published in Dawn, June 26th, 2020