KARACHI: The debate aimed at registering the lawmakers’ proposals and discussion on the Budget Execution Report on the first and second quarters of the current fiscal year in the Sindh Assembly continued on Tuesday for the second consecutive day as 10 more members from both sides of the aisle participated in the debate, mainly criticising each other as was done by their colleagues during the previous sitting.

While Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani kept on advising the members to avail themselves of the opportunity of pointing out necessary uplift work in their respective constituencies, the treasury and opposition members criticised each other’s party leaderships with unparliamentarily remarks, which were ultimately expunged by the chair.

The situation took an unpleasant turn when Nusrat Sehar Abbasi of the Grand Democratic Alliance levelled allegations of corruption against the leadership of the Pakistan Peoples Party, Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, and former CM Syed Qaim Ali Shah.

The GDA member said that kickbacks were being received and assets raised as corruption was rampant in every department of the provincial government. “The only thing the chief minister is doing is taking money to Bilawal House and Zardari House,” she shouted.

MQM-P member says opposition’s proposals were never considered by the ruling party

Coming down hard on the provincial government, Ms Abbasi said that no amount of money was spent on the welfare of the people. She said some works for the betterment of the people of Sindh were carried out during the era of Benazir Bhutto but now uplift schemes were misappropriated. “The mafia government is looting Sindh as 300 schemes were made to take kickbacks only,” she alleged.

Her utterances invited the intervention of a visibly irked speaker who told her to either bring documents to substantiate her claims in the house or go to court.

Mangla Sharma, a minority member belonging to the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan, said speeches were made during the pre-budget discussion in the house every year in futility as the proposals furnished by opposition members were never considered by the ruling party.

She said there were over 200 different schemes in different sectors, including health, education and local government, in the budget books, but they were not seen on the ground.

She said several projects were launched several years ago, but they were yet to be completed.

The MQM-P member recalled that the safe city project of installing 10,000 CCTV cameras in parts of the city was initiated six years ago at a cost of Rs10 billion. “The project was not completed in the stipulated time and now its cost has swelled to Rs30 billion,” she said.

Ms Sharma said that no work was seen on any project in Karachi during the last 10 months and the city was in ruins.

She said the provincial government also failed to control the prices of food and essential items during Ramazan.

The minority MPA also demanded that the provincial government bring a bill on the rights of the minorities and get it passed from the assembly at once.

Ghazala Sial of the PPP demanded the establishment of a degree college and a trauma centre and repair of roads in Khairpur.

She also asked the provincial government to make the Thatta campus of Sindh University a full-fledged university and name it after Hosh Mohammed Sheedi.

The PPP MPA also criticised the PTI’s federal government for wheat and sugar crises and said that the country’s economy was sinking because of the “incompetent and inefficient” rulers.

The house was adjourned to Friday.

Published in Dawn, April 28th, 2021

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