Balochistan Assembly passes budget in opposition’s absence

Published June 27, 2021
QUETTA: Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan delivers a speech on the floor of the house on Saturday. — PPI
QUETTA: Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan delivers a speech on the floor of the house on Saturday. — PPI

QUETTA: The Balochistan Assembly on Saturday passed the annual budget of Rs570 billion for fiscal year 2021-22 in the absence of opposition members who boycotted the budget session.

Ministers and PMAs of treasury benches took part in the four-day debate on the budget. In their speeches they termed it the best budget, saying that funds under the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) had been allocated for all districts of the province and constituencies of all elected members.

However, Sardar Yar Mohammad Rind, who has recently resigned as education minister, criticised the government for ignoring his constituency in the PSDP and alleged that development funds were being given to his opponents who were not elected representatives.

Opposition parties also have similar objection to the budget and announced boycott of the entire budget session.

CM assails opposition for boycotting session

Finance Minister Mir Zahoor Ahmed Buledi presented 102 demands for grant one by one which the treasury members approved without any opposition and cut motions.

Earlier, Chief Minister Jam Kamal Alyani spoke about his coalition government’s achievements and criticised the role of the opposition. He said for the first time in the history of Balochistan, opposition MPAs and workers of opposition parties had attacked the provincial assembly and asked the opposition to apologise to the legislature and the people of the province.

He said it was the responsibility of the opposition to come to the house and raise questions and criticise the performance of the government. “I hope that the opposition leaders, who have regard for supremacy of parliament, the vote and the people’s representation, will mend their ways,” he said.

Mr Alyani said that development of Balochistan was possible with positive political thinking. “Today, every person of Balochistan demands employment, health, education, roads and basic amenities. If the government starts working, the opposition raises voice against PSDP,” he said.

He said that the opposition would be happy to see that there was no development work in the province so that they (ruling parties) could not go to next elections on the basis of their performance.

He spoke about establishment of Loralai and Rakhshan divisions as part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project, work on the western route of the CPEC, approaching the federal government for funds, development work in Makran division, Zhob, Harnai, Duki and Dera Bugti and Winder Dam.

The chief minister said that a cancer block was being set up in Sheikh Zayed Hospital while a cardiac hospital was being established in the Bolan Medical Complex.

Published in Dawn, June 27th, 2021

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