KARACHI: The Sindh Assembly on Friday echoed with criticism and counter-criticism by the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party and opposition Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf during the post-budget discussion that was actually meant for forwarding suggestions and proposals by the lawmakers for their respective constituencies.
The discussion on Rs1.7 trillion deficit budget for the financial year 2022-23 began with the treasury terming it pro-people and the best in given circumstance and the opposition rejecting and declaring it gimmicks of figures.
At the outset of the proceedings, Deputy Speaker Rehana Leghari referred to the incident of alleged mobile snatching from PTI’s Dua Bhutto by PPP’s Munawwar Wassan and said that it was very unfortunate.
“Women from both sides of the aisle should be respected,” she said, adding that she had already ordered an inquiry into the unpleasant matter. “Strict action would be taken against those found involved,” she added.
Opposition lawmakers slam govt for providing no relief to common man
She said she had kept asking the PTI members not to use the phones during the previous session, but they did not pay any heed to the chair.
She asked the secretary of the assembly to seize mobile phone, if any of the members used it in the house.
The deputy speaker said that the cellular phone of Dua Bhutto had been returned to her.
PTI’s parliamentary party leader Khurram Sher Zaman alleged that PPP’s Kulsoom Chandio as well as Munawwar Wassan physically manhandled Ms Bhutto. He asked the PPP member to tender an apology to the PTI lawmaker.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Mukesh Kumar Chawla came up with counter-allegations against PTI’s Arsalan Taj and said that the PTI member had also manhandled Ms Chandio.
PPP’s Farrukh Shah criticised the former prime minister Imran Khan and said that the previous regime’s animosity to Sindh could be judged from the fact that no schemes of roads in the province were included in the federal annual development budget.
Taking a jibe at the PTI chairman over his claim of an international conspiracy to oust him, the PPP lawmaker said that Mr Khan cooked up a story for face-saving.
During the discussion on budget, most of the lawmakers from both the sides of aisle criticised each other hurling harsh words, which were ordered to be expunged by the chair.
Rejecting the budget, PTI’s Bilal Ghaffar Ahmed said that it was a “copy and pasted” budget in which common people were not given relief.
He said that the provincial government had always decried of cut in the share of funds by the then PTI federal government but the PPP’s provincial government itself was unable to achieve its revenue target.
Wasim Qureshi of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan said that it was a budget of the bureaucracy as the opposition MPAs were not consulted in budget preparation.
He said that the provincial government had always talked about ‘unfair’ water distribution by the Centre but it never provided Karachi its due share out of available water.
“Karachi is not getting a drop of water,” the MQM-P member lamented.
PPP’s Ghazala Sial, Syeda Marvi Faseeh, Ameer Ali Shah, Hizbullah Bhugio, MQM-P’s Nasir Hussain Qureshi and Rashid Khilji and Adeel Ahmed of PTI also spoke.
The sitting was adjourned to Monday when the house would resume discussion on the budget.
Published in Dawn, June 18th, 2022