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ISLAMABAD: Amid severe criticism by opposition parties, the National Assembly Friday passed 68 budgetary demands and grants of Rs4.35 trillion relating to different ministries, divisions and departments for the financial year 2021-22 laid in the house for debate.

All the 68 budgetary demands and grants were passed by the lower house of parliament as there came no cut motions from opposition parties, paving the way to their passage in the first phase of the session. The budgetary demands and grants were presented by Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin after winding the debate on federal budget for 2021-22.

The opposition members termed the budget unrealistic and said the government had tried to fool the people through the budget. They lamented the government's fiscal and social policies vis-à-vis taxes, performance of institutions, health and education sectors, minorities, foreign loans and their utilisation, salary and pension of government employees, exports, oil pricing, sugar crisis, and food security.

As expected, they added, the targets set in the budget 2021-22 would never be met as ground realities were ignored by the government during its preparation. Khurram Dastgir Khan of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) said that introduction of "Hot Money" in the country was a horrendous step of the government.

He questioned that "$3.5 billion hot money was put in the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and the government paid 13.5 percent interest rate", adding "the House should be told about those people who put the hot money in the bank".

He said that the circular debt is increasing due to incompetence of the government as they managing the affairs of the country is beyond their capability.

The demands for grants having no cut motions were related to the Climate Change Division, Commerce Division, Communication Division, Pakistan Post Office Department, Defence Division, Federal Government Institutions in Cantonments and Garrisons, Defence Services, Economic Affairs Division, Federal education and Professional Training, Higher Education Commission, National Vocational and Technical Training Commission (NAVTTC), National Heritage and Cultural Division, Housing and Works Division, Human Rights Division, Industries and Production Division, Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Secretariat, Information Technology and Telecommunication Division, Interior Division, Islamabad Capital Territory, Combined Civil Armed Forces, Inter-Provincial Coordination Division, Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan Division, Law and Justice Division, Federal Judicial academy, Federal Shariat Court, Council of Islamic Ideology, National Accountability Bureau, District Judiciary Islamabad Capital Territory, Maritime Affairs Division, Narcotics Control Division, National Assembly, the Senate, Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development Division, Parliamentary Affairs Division, Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Division, CPEC Authority, Privatization Division, Religious Affairs and Inter-faith Harmony Division, Science and Technology Division, States and Frontiers Division, Water Resources Division, Divisions of Development Expenditure of Climate Change, Commerce, Communication, Defence, Federal Education and Professional Training, Higher Education Commission, NAVTTC, National Heritage and Culture, Human Rights, Information Technology and Telecommunication Division, Interior, Inter-Provincial Coordination, Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan, Narcotics Control, Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, Science and Technology, Water Resources, Survey of Pakistan, Capital Outlay on Civil Works, Capital Outlay on Industrial Development, and Capital Outlay on Maritime Affairs Division.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021


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