MPs express mixed reaction in budget debate

Islamabad—The lawmakers from both the treasury and opposition benches remained divided in their remarks and opinions while participating in the budget 2016-17 debate that resumed in the National Assembly on Thursday. Participating in the budget discussions, Faqir Sher Muhamamd Bilalani of Pakistan People’s Party urged the government to hold population census which has been pending long since 1998.
He said that the budget for the year 2016-17 could not be described as pro-poor. He criticized the government for failing to announce the National Finance Award. He demanded of the government to check the fake and substandard pesticides that are available in the market to save the farmers from huge losses. He also urged the government to ensure stability in the prices of cotton to restore confidence of farmers so that they may be encouraged to produce more crop.
Taking part in the budget debate, MNA Maryam Aurangzeb said that the current government has taken many measures, which the previous governments failed to take, to lead the country towards progress and development. She said that it was the government of PML(N) wherin National Action Plan was formulated to rid the country of the menace of terrorism.
She said that the government established National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) and allocated Rs 1.87 billion for establishment of joint investigation directorate with an aim to curb terrorism with coordinated efforts. She said that the incidence of terrorism have considerably reduced from 1680 to 296, showing 74% decrease, which she said has become possible due to the policies of the government.
She said the government has been working hard to improve the human index and it has earmarked Rs 20 billion for Sustainable Development Goals, despite the fact that 98 percent of these goals are related to provinces. She said that Rs 100 billion would be spent for rehabilitation of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
She was of the view that the China Pakistan Economic Corridor would pass through the road network, developed during the last tenure of PML(N) government, and added this shows farsightedness of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. On the occasion, Haji Ghulam Ahmed Balour of Awami National Party (ANP) said that the budget was not for poor, rather it was for landlords.
He said that the provinces should be given their due rights and lamented that some people are still in denial mood as far as 18th Amendment of the Constitution is concerned. He was of the view that terrorism was the outcome of undemocratic goverments of the past and maintained that the country could not afford more such regimes.
Participating in the debate, Pir Bux Junejo of PML(F) urged the government to pay special heed towards agriculture. He said that since agriculture is considered backbone of country’s economy so if this sector is developed, it would result in overall development of the country.—APP

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