LAHORE: The running of the Punjab Assembly will cost over Rs10 million a day during the next financial year as the provincial budget on Wednesday allocated a healthy sum of Rs3.688 billion to it to meet its expenses.

The current allocation represents a 23pc increase over its revised expenditure of Rs2.996bn – the amount assembly spent last year. The budget document justifies increased allocation, saying that the legislature is being provided necessary, but rationalised, funds for performance.

The premium provincial institution has been a centre of controversy for the last few days because of a standoff between the treasury, led by Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz, and the opposition spearheaded by Speaker Chaudhry Parvez Elahi, for first creating tensions between both sides during the election of the chief minister and then presenting finance bill.

Ultimately, the budget session was taken away from it and held at a nearby building (Awain-i-Iqbal) to present and pass the bill.

Some of the sessions were also held in nearby hotels during Covid as the assembly building was too small to allow necessary social distancing.

Published in Dawn, June 16th, 2022

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