Govt under fire for seeking supplementary budget approval

Published June 29, 2021
In this file photo, Finance Minister Hashim Jawan Bakht presents the provincial budget for FY22. — Photo courtesy Twitter
In this file photo, Finance Minister Hashim Jawan Bakht presents the provincial budget for FY22. — Photo courtesy Twitter

LAHORE: The opposition in the Punjab Assembly took to task Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government in the province for seeking approval for an over Rs248 billion supplementary budget, leading to a blame game between the two sides accusing each other of bad economic policies.

The opposition reminded the ruling party that its chairman and incumbent prime minister used to term supplementary budgets as ‘political bribe’.

Former speaker Rana Iqbal asked how a thing that was illegitimate and a ‘political bribe’ in the past became lawful in the PTI tenure.

He also chided Finance Minister Hashim Jawan Bakht for claiming that the government offered Rs86 billion subsidy on flour whereas the masses were unable to get the supply of flour. He lamented that the citizens of a nuclear state were unable to get an essential like flour just due to the ‘inefficiency’ and ‘ineptness’ of the incumbent rulers.

He recalled that the price of a DAP fertilizer bag was just Rs2,500 in the tenure of PML-N but the same has now been increased to Rs5,700 per bag.

PPP parliamentary leader Syed Hassan Murtaza demanded an across-the-board accountability for politicians as well as bureaucrats for the sake of development of the country.

He said ‘blunders’ of bureaucrats must also be taken to task as politicians had suffered enough bashing.

He wondered that an officer of 18-grade can get membership of the Gymkhana Club but not an MPA.

Parliamentary Secretary Nadeem Qureshi said that those who ruled for 35 years were not happy with the incumbent government, which allocated record funds for the development of the province.

Seemabia Tahir, another treasury MPA, claimed that the country has come out of crisis due to the policies of the government.

The session was later put off till Tuesday afternoon.

Published in Dawn, June 29th, 2021

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