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Pakistan

PPP decides to boycott joint-opposition meeting over Shehbaz's absence in NA session

  • PPP has blamed PML-N for giving a walkover to the government in the passage of the budget
  • Says PML-N showed a lack of seriousness during the budget session
Updated 30 Jun 2021

(Karachi) The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has decided to boycott a joint session of the opposition parties which was convened by Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif, local media reported on Wednesday.

The PPP made the decision over lack of seriousness by PML-N and the absence of Opposition Leader in National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif in the budget session that took place on June 29.

Shehbaz Sharif was expected to deliver a fiery speech on the assembly floor and not allow the PTI government to pass the budget for the next fiscal year. However, the opposition leader and more than 14 PML-N lawmakers did not attend the NA session.

'Divided' opposition fails to block passage of budget

The government, due to its full strength as compared to the opposition, managed to pass the budget.

The PPP has blamed the PML-N for giving a walkover to the government in the passage of the budget, adding that Shehbaz Sharif’s absence from the proceedings has cost the opposition dearly.

Earlier, the NA passed the federal budget 2021-22 with a majority vote of 172 lawmakers after approval of the Finance Bill 2021, which was presented by Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin.

PML-N's 70 MNAs remain absent from NA session

Most members of the PML-N, the major opposition group in the assembly, remained absent during the voting process while 54 out of 56 lawmakers from the PPP attended the budget session.

The National Assembly continued debate on the Finance Bill 2021 for 10 days - from June 14 to June 24. In this period, a total of 128 demands for grants were also approved. The National Assembly could not initiate debate for three consecutive days (June 14 to June 16, 2021) due to ruckus in the House, and a tussle between the treasury and the opposition benches.

The formal debate began on June 17, 2021, and it continued till June 24, 2021. The House also discussed recommendations of the Senate and 12 MNAs expressed their views on them. The finance minister concluded the debate on Finance Bill 2021 on June 25, 2021.

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