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KARACHI: Debate on fiscal budget 2022-23 on Monday resumed, as the treasury and opposition members spoke more on the political issues than the next financial plan during the Sindh Assembly session.

Dua Bhutto, a female legislator of the main opposition party, PTI, accused the ruling PPP lawmakers of “removing” her shawl.

Pointing out at treasury benches, she said that “these unashamed removed my shawl and those do such acts, who don’t have their mothers and sisters”.

The assembly session consumes between Rs4 million to Rs4. 5 million but “people (legislators) use abusive language at each other,” she said adding that the ruling PPP stands no more as a party of former premier late Benazir Bhutto rather it has become a “mafia”.

MQM’s female minority lawmaker, Mangla Sharma asked the Sindh government to establish hostels for working women in big cities like Karachi to house those coming for jobs from small towns.

She also clamoured over “forced” marriages of girls from minorities, saying that “none bothered to heed on what we have been saying on the forced marriages of minority girls but now the issue has spread the other way around”.

She also discussed the cases of Nimra Kazmi and Dua Zehra, saying that they were shown over-aged in reports. She cast doubts over the reports’ authenticity.

Sindh Energy Minister Imtiaz Shaikh said that his party’s government has presented “the best” budget for the next fiscal year keeping in view the country’s economic condition. The budget projects “no new taxes”, he said adding that the people of Sindh appreciate the PPP rule.

He announced that about 1300 megawatts of electricity will start coming into the country’s system from next months. The Sindh government is also setting up a solar park to cope with energy needs in the province, he added.

PTI’s minority legislator, Sanjay Gangwani condemned the Sindh government, saying that his party’s lawmaker named Shabbir Qureshi was arrested by police who was blindfolded strolled for hours.

He also demanded of the government to introduce a law to ban the “forced” religious conversion. He said that the Sindh government failed to implement schemes announced for minorities, saying that the pre-budget session was also skipped.

GDA’s Arif Mustafa Jatoi appreciated the quality of budget books, saying that Sindh government complains every year about funds shortage from the federal government but this year there is increase of Rs40 billion.

He questioned whether the education system of Sindh is competitive to that of the entire country. Only 1200 candidates could pass the exam for teaching jobs, he said that it manifests the poor education quality of the province. He alleged that the PPP government gave jobs against merits.

Mir Tariq Talpur of the PPP claimed that the Sindh government has appointed 4700 new teachers and all of them on “merit”. He demanded of his party’s government to sanction a medical university for Mirpurkhas, besides providing a facility of the natural gas to the area residents.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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