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LAHORE: The Punjab Budget 2022-23 could not be presented in the House on Monday due to a deadlock between the treasury and opposition benches amid uproar in the session.

While chairing the House proceedings, Punjab Assembly Speaker Pervaiz Elahi and the opposition benches repeatedly demanded the presence of the Punjab Chief Secretary and Inspector General of Punjab Police in the House, but the government showed reluctance to meet the demand. This led to the deadlock and subsequently, the Speaker adjourned the House till Tuesday noon. Earlier, the House that was scheduled to meet at 2 pm was started after a delay of about six hours. Afterward, the uproar was created in the House due to the presence of Punjab Government spokesman Ataullah Tarar. Later, the House was adjourned for 10 minutes but resumed its proceedings an hour after Tarar left the House.

The Punjab Assembly’s budget session for 2022-23 was marked with uncertainty as the deadlock between Speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi along with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) persisted on host of issues including cases registered against the PTI lawmakers.

The deadlock persisted during a meeting of the advisory committee over the opposition’s demand that the Chief Secretary and IG Punjab must apologise over what they called ‘illegal cases’ lodged against their members. The budget session was scheduled to begin at 2pm but it started after about six hours.

Punjab budget faces prospect of deadlock?

The budget session has become a question mark with issues between PML-Q leader and Speaker Pervaiz Elahi and the provincial government intensifying. The power struggle in the province seems to be growing stronger with each passing day with Elahi, sources said.

Earlier, the Punjab Assembly budget session, which started after delay of over six hours halted over presence of PML-N’s Ataullah Tarar in the House.

Speaker Pervaiz Elahi issued directives to oust Ataullah Tarar from the House to create an environment conducive to holding proceedings. The Speaker stressed that the atmosphere will not be conducive if Ataullah Tarar does not leave the House. The chair adjourned the House for 10 minutes which again started after about an hour when Tarar left the House under protest. He said he did not want to create hindrance, as the Punjab budget is for 120 million people of the province.

Moreover, the absence of IGP and chief secretary concerned irked the lawmakers. PTI MPA Raja Basharat said the session be halted till the appearance of the IGP and chief secretary. The treasury and opposition members exchanged hot words during the meeting of Punjab Assembly Business Advisory Committee. PTI’s Mian Aslam Iqbal and PML-N’s Malik Ahmed Khan had a verbal brawl over the summoning of the IG in the PA. The PML-N members defended police action in PA while PTI members demanded an apology over the alleged torture by the police on PTI workers amid the long march.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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