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LAHORE: Opposition Leader in the Punjab Assembly Hamza Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday said that International Monetary Fund is saying that growth rate would be two percent, but government kept saying three percent. He also said that petrol prices were increased the next day of the budget. The sweet dreams of economic growth and development were shown.

The session started two hours eight minutes late under the chair of speaker Punjab Assembly Chaudhry Pervez Elahi. Addressing the budget session in Punjab Assembly Hamza said that unemployment in the country has increased from 33 to 85 percent, millions of people are below the poverty line, and nation is starving for bread adding that the government should stop the digit game of budget.

“I strongly condemn what happened in the National Assembly, whoever is to blame. Criticism should be for correction rather than criticism.” Hamza Shehbaz said that every citizen has hopes from the budget that we get some relief. Making the budget session fruitful, we will adopt traditions that are a beacon for the coming Assembly. The government had done nothing in three years. The Leader of the Opposition said that in 2008 sugar increased from Rs55 to Rs110, Mash lentil from Rs140 to Rs 320, tea from Rs750 to Rs950, meat from Rs850 to Rs1500 per kg, electricity from Rs8 to Rs20 per unit, medicines from 300 to 500 percent and gas by 300 percent.

He questioned the government as to whether a poor man could live on Rs20,000. There is hunger and poverty in every house, people do not have money for medicines, electricity and water bills.

He said that 10 million jobs, 5 million houses, construction of dams, return of Rs200 billion, police reforms, 90 days to eradicate corruption was a lie. They lied about uniform curriculum for 20 million children and making South Punjab a province, he alleged. Hamza Shehbaz said that the province of 120 million people is being directed by remote control from Islamabad. This is a mockery of democracy, an abuse of provincial autonomy and a constitutional amendment.

Pakistan People’s Party MPA Makhdoom Syed Usman Mahmood while speaking on the floor of the House said that government had done nothing in three years. He also said government had not released funds for opposition legislators. While criticising the government he said government had done nothing in education and health sector. He further said government had failed to utilize its development budget adding that speaker had suggested that government should fix the price of wheat at Rs2000 per maund but government ignored the speaker’s suggestion and fixed the price at Rs1800 per maund.

Usman said we reject the establishment of South Punjab Secreteriat. He said government failed to start the construction of new Sheikh Zaid Hospital. While responding to the criticism of opposition minister for Industries and Trade Mian Muhammad Aslam Iqbal said that opposition is astonished that how the GDP reached 3.4 percent in three years. He said country’s economy is progressing but the Sharif family’s economy has stalled.

Earlier, at the beginning of the session, when PML(N) MPA Malik Ahmad Khan raised the issue of Rescue 1122 reforms. Speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi showed his anger and said to the government, “Congratulations to you. I have lost. You have won. There are some bureaucrats who oppose Rescue 1122.” The speaker said he will not listen to any one and called the meeting of the special committee on Firday. While speaking on the floor of the House Punjab Law minister Raja Basharat said that legislation passed in the Punjab Assembly in the last ten years had not been regularised.

While talking to media outside the Punjab Assembly Punjab Law Minister Raja Basharat said that what happened in the National Assembly last day was unfortunate. He further said, “Abusing is not our culture but as Muslims we should promote a culture of unity, tolerance and brotherhood.” He appealed to the people of the opposition and the government to take care of their honourable position as the use of immoral language in such high positions was not worthy of parliamentarians. Replying to a question, Raja Basharat said that he hoped that such incident would not happen in the Punjab Assembly as the government benches in the Punjab Assembly had always shown morality and politeness.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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