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LAHORE: The Punjab Assembly on Wednesday passed supplementary budget worth Rs229.8337 billion for the Year 2021-22 with majority.

The approved supplementary grants included education more than Rs3,211 million, Rs749 million for industries, Rs4,561 million for Public Health, Rs6,918 million for General Administration, Rs1,655 million for Civil Works, Rs889 million for Development and Rs13,792 million for Police.

The session started three hour and 19 minutes behind the scheduled time with Speaker Ch Parvez Elahi in the chair. Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar also joined House proceedings and thanked the members for passing of the budget.

While expressing his views on cut motion PML(N) MPA Khalil Tahir Sindhu said that according to the report of Punjab police crime rate increased in the province. He said that if police failed to maintain law and order in the province then why government allocated such a heavy amount for police.

PML(N) MPA Sami Ullah Khan said that government reduced the development budget of the province by Rs295 billion on the request of International Monetary Fund.

Pakistan People’s Party Parliamentary leader Syed Hassan Murtaza said that government is not giving development funds to the opposition parliamentarians. He alleged that Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar was involved in the posting transfer of police officials.

Punjab Law Minister Raja Basharat, while responding to a cut motion pertaining to the police budget in the Punjab Assembly said that Chief Minister Usman Bazdar was fortunate to have an opposition totally blind to reasoning. “The opposition is so incompetent that its government has not only got sentenced his Prime Minister but also made him a fugitive.” Raja Basharat said that he was grateful to Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chief Minister Usman Bazdar for giving complete freedom to the police.

Criticizing the opposition leader, Raja Basharat said that he (Hamza Shehbaz) claimed that he could not sleep all night on the Sahiwal tragedy but did he remember that when his father was the Chief Minister, fourteen innocent people were shot dead a few steps away from his residence and the FIR was stalled to be registered?

He said, “We invite the opposition to bring a unanimous resolution to punish the perpetrators of the Model Town tragedy.”

The Law Minister further said that for the first time the PTI government had done historic work for the police department. The Chief Minister restored the frozen FDA allowance from 2009 and also approved the administration allowance. He said that the present government provided 500 vehicles to the police stations while the PML-N did not provide a single one.

“We are changing the police from a crime centric force to a public centric force. Fifty police stations in Punjab have been provided with modern facilities and its scope will be extended to the whole of Punjab.”

The law minister said that the cost of investigation per case had been significantly increased to improve the investigation system. Recruitment for more than 5,000 posts has been approved to address the shortage of personnel in police stations. Raja Basharat said that even during the outbreak of Corona pandemic, the police sacrificed their lives for the cause. “The police also played the role of front line force in the war on terror.”

He said that the PML-N even devoured up the package of martyrs’ of the police which was paid by the Buzdar government. Appreciating the performance of the police, Raja Basharat said that many blind cases including Data Darbar case, motorway case were traced with professionalism. While the accused in a blind case like Johar Town blast were arrested in 16 hours. “Unless we give good resources to the police, good performance cannot be expected, so the motion to cut the police budget was rejected on the arguments and suggestion of the Law minister.”

Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar in his address before the Punjab assembly members has presented a comprehensive roadmap of prosperous and developed Punjab as ample opportunities will be generated in different sectors of life. It is satisfying that the development budget has been increased sufficiently and the government is wholeheartedly spending to develop the social sector on modern lines.

He said that government has allocated Rs369 billion for the health sector. The government has allocated more than Rs1 billion for 677 vaccination centers. He said health cards will be distributed among the people of the province till December 31. The government is awarding status of university to the Children Hospital.

Buzdar said that government is giving subsidy to the farmers worth Rs4 billion. PML(N) government has constructed Orange Line Metro with Rs215 billion adding that present government is giving subsidy of Rs8 billion on Orange Line.

Special Assistant to Chief Minister on Information Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan has said that despite tall claims of the opposition, the federal and provincial budgets have been passed by the respective assemblies and it is sanguine that sufficient amounts have been earmarked for improving human resource so that the best services could be provided to the people.

In a statement issued here on Wednesday, Dr Firdous said the PTI-led government in Punjab will bring a revolution in the field of education, healthcare and infrastructure departments. CM Punjab is committed to ensuring composite development and Punjab budget 2021-22 is a practical manifestation of this strong commitment made with the people, she said.

The Special Assistant said that it is a unique moment in the history of the country that the deprivation of South Punjab is going to end once and for all. She said the corrupt and inefficient opposition is bewildered and divided. In fact, the opposition is only concerned about saving its financial shenanigans.

The nutshell of PTI government reforms is the establishment of the Islamic welfare state on the pattern of the city-state of Madina where everyone will enjoy the fruits of development and no one will dare to indulge in corruption, concluded the SACM.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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