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KARACHI: The Sindh Assembly on Friday passed the next fiscal year budget 2021-22 with a majority vote, despite the opposition. Treasury landed an overwhelming support to the Sindh government's financial plan 2021-22 as opposition parties strongly opposed the budget of Rs1,477.9 billion during the chaotic session.

The next fiscal year budget envisages no new taxes, as called "tax-free", with a Rs329 billion of development outlay. The Sindh government also succeeded to approve a supplementary budget of Rs95.345 billion for fiscal year 2020-21.

No cut-motions the entire opposition placed in the house to make the government scale back its non-development expenditures during the next fiscal year. Similarly, neither Chief Minister Sindh, Syed Murad Ali Shah nor opposition leader, Haleem Adil Shaikh were given a chance to speak on the budget since Speaker Aga Siraj Khan Durrani cut short the proceedings.

Instead, The Chief Minister Sindh was asked to place his requisition to the house for budget approval. Treasury gave its vote to pass the budget but opposition rejected the next fiscal plan of the Sindh government. MMA's, Syed Abdul Rashid, who is said to be having a strong bond with the Sindh government, was also denied to give his views on budget since the Speaker was in no mood to permit any speeches further.

During the budget approval session, the MQM legislators held placards in hands with demands and continuing chants. After the budget session, PTI's Arsalan Taj told reporters that the Speaker denied the opportunity to the opposition to speak out on the budget.

He said that the budget was passed in an undemocratic fashion. The PPP has established a dictatorship in Sindh, he added. Sindh Information Minister, Syed Nasir Hussain Shah along with Saeed Ghani claimed that the budget was passed with a "consultation and consensus", saying that "no one opposed it".

He said that the opposition parties were "not serious" toward the budget since they did not tabled a single cut motion. It was a historic day as the budget was passed easily, he said. Now, the house will meet on Monday.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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