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KARACHI: The Sindh Assembly on Friday began its post-budget 2022-23 debate, as treasury members lauded their government for placing no new taxes for the next fiscal year, but opposition criticised the financial plan. Syeda Marvi Rashdi, a ruling PPP’s female legislator, condemned the India’s BJP member for sacrilege against Holy Prophet (PBUH) in her speech.

Of budget, she lauded Chief Minister Sindh, Syed Murad Ali Shah for proposing no-new taxes during next financial year. She said that it is the second consecutive year that budget was presented without new taxes. She said that the budget allocates a separate pro-poor relief package of Rs26.850 billion. “This package will help the poor,” she said adding amid soaring inflation resulting from the PTI government’s deal with the IMF.

MQM’s Nasir Hussain Qureshi criticised the Sindh government for ignoring Hyderabad development and healthcare sector in budgets every year. “It seems Hyderabad is located in Japan and not on Pakistan’s map,” he said.

At Faizabad Hospital, he said, there is not a single ambulance. The Sindh government cannot see this hospital’s problems, as it lacks doctors, cardio ward, medicines etc., he said during budget speech.

“I have been raising the issue with Sindh Health Minister but it remained unnoticed,” he said.

Dr Sohrab Khan Sarki of the PPP called the fiscal budget “balanced” under the circumstances. He claimed that the healthcare facilities, which his province provides to patients, no other province offers. Waseem Qureshi of the MQM called the fiscal budget a “brainchild” of the Sindh’s bureaucracy. He said that the legislators were not given an opportunity to have a pre-budget debate in the house.

“Sindh needs more corruption free budget than tax free one,” he said and clamoured for water scarcity in Karachi.

PTI’s Bilal Ghaffar said that the budget is mere a “copy paste” exercise, which was well designed. He questioned whether the budget will benefit the poor.

He said that literacy rate in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province is growing but what holds back Sindh to make a headway in this sector.

“We reject the imported government’s budget,” he said and added that the Sindh government has failed to meet its revenue and taxation targets.

PTI’s Adeel Ahmed demanded for membership suspension of PPP’s Munwar Wassan, Kulsoom Chandio and Riaz Sherazi from the house for misbehaving with his party’s female legislator, Dua Bhutto. He condemned the incident.

He said that the coalition federal government has increased petrol price by Rs84 per litre, triggering inflation to hit the poor. He said that the Sindh budget is not different from the federal one.

MQM’s Rashid Khilji said that the NICVD of Hyderabad lacks primary facilities for the patients. The city hospitals also has no facilities to carry out heart surgery. The fire brigade department has rundown extinguishers.

The house stands adjourned till Monday morning at 11am.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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