ISLAMABAD: Debate on the federal budget in the absence of a strong opposition turned out to be a one-sided affair as the lawmakers in the National Assembly on Friday along with appreciating budgetary proposals, demanded the allocation of more funds for relief to the common man, construction of new water reservoirs to meet water and energy requirements of the country.
The government is set to get the Finance Bill 2023 passed on June 23 with ease. Muhammad Afzal Khokhar PML-N praised Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar for presenting a balanced budget that prioritized the needs of the common man and farmers. He said the government also made efforts in improving the road infrastructure and supporting the much-needed reforms in the agriculture sector. He also commended the government’s decision to increase the salaries and pensions of government employees and provide laptops to students, enabling them to acquire the modern skills needed to get an education matching the international market requirement.
Meanwhile, Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif asked the educational institutions to focus on teaching of moral values to the youth. He also apologized for the remarks that he made against the Vice Chancellors the other day regarding their salaries saying that he respects the teachers and educational institutions from the core of his heart. He, however, said that it is a fact that corruption has become rampant in our society. On the request of the defence minister, the Speaker expunged the words that were used against the Vice Chancellors from the proceedings of the House.
Nasir Khan Musazai of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) demanded the allocation of additional funds for the construction of dams, emphasizing the importance of addressing the problems faced by underprivileged citizens. Mir Amer Ali Khan Magsi endorsed the sentiments of MNA Musazai, declaring the government’s allocation for the construction of new water reservoirs in the federal budget ‘insufficient.’ Magsi suggested taking along all stakeholders from the agriculture sector into confidence while finalizing policies.
Minister for Defence Production Sardar Muhammad Israr Tareen strongly condemned the May 9 incident and asserted that it was not an act perpetrated by an external enemy. He also supported the resolution passed by the National Assembly, calling for the trial of individuals involved in the incident under the Army Act without delay. Qaiser Ahmed Sheikh of PML-N drew the attention of the House towards Pakistan’s defence budget saying that its arch-rival India’s defence budget was almost 12 times higher.
Syed Abrar Ali Shah of PPP asked for the allocation of more development funds for the Sindh province and paying pending amounts to execute the ongoing schemes at a faster pace.
Nasiba Channa called for diverting more resources for the people of Sindh. She said the government should provide relief on essential items. Naz Baloch criticized the PTI for increasing the country’s debt from $24 billion to $55 billion in just four years. She said that the previous regime also used to victimize their opponents and imprison them like monarchs of the past history.
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