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LAHORE: The Punjab Assembly on Thursday passed with a thumping majority 41 demands for grants of worth over Rs1800 billion for the financial year 2020-21.

The House had already approved the demands for grants for food and agriculture on Wednesday.

The session started one hour 23 minutes late under the chair of speaker Punjab Assembly Chaudhry Pervez Elahi.

The opposition presented cut motions on Health department, education, Police and local government which were rejected.

Speaking on floor of the House former Health minister Punjab Khawaja Salman Rafique while criticising the Punjab government said that instead of increasing the health budget, the PTI has reduced it by Rs 18 billion. The government has reduced the allocation of on going health projects by 16 percent.

The government had not allocated funds for Nishtar Medical University. The government has released only Rs 10 crore for 1200 bed children hospital despite promising that Rs 37 billion will be released for the hospital.

PPP parliamentary leader Syed Hassan Murtaza said that law and order situations were very bad in the province. The federal government has reduced Punjab's share in the NFC award by three percent. He questioned why the government has reduced the budget of health and education. Are all the problems in Punjab solved?

He further said that budget which was given to the Police should be spent on Health and Education. Murtaza said it is easy to blame politicians for corruption because they are soft target.

He said government was unable register a case against Hamza Shahbaz and Khursheed Shah in one year. He also said a minister cannot commit corruption without the help of the Secretary. Has any secretary ever been caught with the minister?.

The rulers would have made the country a welfare state instead of the state of Madinah. Medina was a welfare state but Pakistan is a security state. In whose hands should I found the blood of martyrs of Sahiwal incident and Salahuddin?.

How many policemen have punished for their involvement in extrajudicial killings to date?. He said we respect our law enforcement agencies and army who played an important role in maintaining law and order in the country.

PML (N) MPA Mehwish Sultana said that education budget for education is higher than last year but the governments had not taken any initiative in the budget. She criticised the Punjab government for reducing the budget of Higher Education Commission. She also said government had stopped the funds of Daanish schools.

Law Minister Raja Basharat said that Police is performing their duties in difficult circumstances. He said opposition should think before criticising any body.

He said Police is fighting on the front line against coronavirus even doctors are behind them. He said that crime rate has decreased during the tenure of present PTI government in Punjab. He said that present government had increased the fund allocation for police.

Basharat criticised PML (N) government for using Police for their personal interest. He also said funds were not released for Police during the tenure of PML (N).

He said that present government has decided to buy new cars for the Police as well as government has decided to recruit five thousand people.

Health Minister Dr Yssmeen Rashid said that PML (N) is complaining that funds were not allocated for the previous projects. She said that why they had not completed the projects in their tenure.

She said PTI government had filled 28,000 vacant posts on merit. She said more than 4,50,000 thousand coronavirus tests were conducted up till now in Punjab.

Punjab schools education minister Dr Muraad Raas said that PML (N) has destroyed the entire education system during their ten years tenure in Punjab. He said we evolve a system of transfer and posting of teachers.

The PTI government bring back 22,000 children back to school through after noon pilot program. He said drop out rate was seventy percent after primary during the tenure of PML (N). He said we are establishing 100 new schools in Lahore as well as 100 IT labs in the province.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020