KARACHI: Opposition legislators in the Sindh Assembly on Wednesday clamoured over non-implementation of budgets and criticised the PPP rule for not completing the annual development schemes.
Arguments continued in favour and against the proposed Sindh budget for fiscal year 2022-23, as the house held its third sitting since the presentation of the financial plan.
The treasury supported the budget, saying that it projects “no new taxes” and helps enable welfare and development in the province. The opposition called it a “deceptive business” and “business of statistics”.
GDA’s female legislator, Nusrat Sehar Abbasi said that development work in Sindh is substandard and pointed out that 1.6 million tons of wheat are missing while another Rs830 million was staled.
She said that the Sindh government has spent Rs104 billion on water purification system in Thar but residents are still struggling to find an alternative potable source.
“A Rs1 billion of zakat is missing,” she added that “temples allocations have also been swindled”. She told the house that people contesting for the local government polls are being harassed.
Jamal Siddiqi of the main opposition party - PTI dubbed the fiscal budget “copy paste”. He said that a budget scheme of Rs400 million was earmarked for a zoo but no animals were housed.
Similarly, he said, the PPP government announces uplift projects in the name of their central leadership, which remains incomplete. He questioned an allocation of Rs1 billion of secret fund for the Sindh Health Department.
MQM’s Sadaqat Hussain said that his constituency - Orangi Town found no attention in the budget for development. “Chief Minister Sindh should answer whether people of Orangi Town have committed a crime that they left out of budget development,” he questioned.
His political town has a poor quality of education and healthcare amenities with no potable water availability, he said that the area, which inhabits 2.2 million people, still suffering because of incomplete projects began in 2013.
PPP’s lady legislator, Heer Ismail Soho appreciated her rule for not placing a new tax on the public, which she called an achievement. She demanded of her party government to found a university in Sujawal District. Arsalan Taj of the PTI said that his party’s former government collected a record tax. He said that petrol price shot up to Rs233 a litre during the incumbent federal coalition government from Rs150 a litre during the PTI rule.
“Edible oil reached Rs600 from Rs300, milk is available for Rs180 a liter from Rs125-130 a litre, though commissioner fixed it at Rs95, ghee prices crossed Rs500, mutton is available for Rs1800 from Rs1400, electricity unit is now at Rs29 from Rs17,” he added.
Adeel Sheahzad of the MQM said that had the fiscal been spent on the public welfare, situation would have been different. He complained about his constituency was ignored for the development in the fiscal budget.
PPP’s Syed Aijaz Hussain Shah lauded his party’s government for “being poor friendly” and criticised the former PTI government for “present” economic crisis in the country. The house will meet on Thursday morning at 11.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022