PPP and PTI clash as Sindh Assembly begins budget debate – Reuters

KARACHI: The Sindh Assembly on Friday echoed the criticisms and counter-criticisms of the ruling Pakistan People’s Party and the opposition Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf during the post-budget discussion which was in fact aimed at conveying suggestions and proposals by legislators for their respective constituencies.

The discussion on the Rs 1.7 trillion deficit budget for the financial year 2022-23 started with the Treasury calling it pro-people and the best under given circumstances and the opposition rejecting it and declaring it gimmicks of figures.

At the start of the proceedings, Vice President Rehana Leghari referred to the incident of the alleged kidnapping of a motive of Dua Bhutto from the PTI by Munawwar Wassan from the PPP and said that it was very unfortunate.

“Women on both sides of the aisle should be respected,” she said, adding that she had already ordered an investigation into the unpleasant matter. “Strict action would be taken against those involved,” she added.

Opposition lawmakers slam government for failing to provide relief to ordinary man

She said she kept asking PTI members not to use the phones in the previous session, but they did not pay attention to the president.

She asked the secretary of the assembly to seize the mobile phone, if any of the members used it in the house.

The vice president said Dua Bhutto’s cellphone had been returned to him.

PTI parliamentary party leader Khurram Sher Zaman alleged that PPP’s Kulsoom Chandio as well as Munawwar Wassan physically abused Ms Bhutto. He asked the PPP member to apologize to the PTI legislator.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Mukesh Kumar Chawla made counter-allegations against PTI’s Arsalan Taj and said the PTI member also abused Ms Chandio.

PPP’s Farrukh Shah criticized former Prime Minister Imran Khan and said the previous regime’s animosity towards Sindh could be judged by the fact that no road projects in the province were included in the development budget federal annual.

Mocking the PTI chairman for his claim of an international plot to oust him, the PPP lawmaker said Mr Khan concocted a face-saving story.

During the budget discussion, most lawmakers on both sides of the aisle criticized each other with harsh words, which were ordered to be erased by the president.

Rejecting the budget, Bilal Ghaffar Ahmed of the PTI said it was a “cut and paste” budget in which ordinary people were not relieved.

He said that the provincial government had always decried the cut of the share of funds by the then federal PTI government, but that the provincial PPP government itself was not able to meet its revenue target. .

Wasim Qureshi of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan said it was a bureaucracy budget because opposition MPAs were not consulted during the preparation of the budget.

He said the provincial government had always spoken of the Center’s “unfair” water distribution, but never provided Karachi with its fair share of available water.

“Karachi does not receive a drop of water,” lamented the MQM-P member.

Ghazala Sial from PPP, Syeda Marvi Faseeh, Ameer Ali Shah, Hezbollah Bhugio, Nasir Hussain Qureshi from MQM-P and Rashid Khilji and Adeel Ahmed from PTI also spoke.

The sitting was adjourned until Monday when the House resumes debate on the budget.

Posted in Dawn, June 18, 2022

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