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ISLAMABAD: Parliamentarians Monday expressed opposing views on the budget for the fiscal year 2018-19, with treasury benches demanding appreciation for good works of the government and opposition benches blaming the incumbent regime of ignoring development in their respective constituencies.

Participating in the budget debate, Nawab Yousaf Talpur said Sindh had been totally ignored in the federal budget. He said there was complete consensus of construction of Diamer Basha dam but it was not included in China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

He said massive investment was carried out in road infrastructure and energy in Punjab but the other provinces were ignored in development projects.

He alleged that injustice was being done with Sindh in National Finance Commission (NFC) award and due share in gas connections.

Murad Saeed said he had joined politics to challenge the status quo and vowed to continue with same in future. He said he had submitted bills regarding health, education and FATA reforms but none of it was passed by the House.

He said small provinces were not being given their due share and as a result sense of deprivation was prevailing among the people.

He claimed that $200 billion plundered money was kept in Swiss banks' accounts but no legislation and steps were taken to bring back it to the country.

Murad Saeed said if chance was given to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, proper legislation would be done to bring back all the plundered national wealth stashed in Swiss banks.

On the occasion, Major (R) Tahir Iqbal said Parliament should be respected and the issues which come under its domain should be resolved inside the house. He said the people should appreciate if the government had done some good work.

He said opposition leaders were not attending the parliament but were very active in public gatherings. He said 72% of economy of the country was dependent on agriculture and demanded special attention towards this particular sector, highlighting the protection of prime land and cultivation of barren lands.

Participating in the budget debate, Dr Farooq Sattar of MQM observed that there was no change in status quo for the last five years. He presented shadow budget of MQM before the assembly saying that

it would provide roadmap for the future government.

He said that Pakistan was in dire need of developing consensus on Charter of Socio Economic Reform Agenda by all the parties to lead the country towards sustainable development.

Sattar stressed the need for paradigm shift from 1970s policies to new of progress and prosperity, saying that there was need to transfer from ‘geo politics to geo economy’.

He said that there was also need to introduce new administrative units in Pakistan which would play role in socio economic development, adding that MQM fully supports establishment of provinces in South Punjab.

He said, in addition to this, provinces should be created all across the country including Hazara province. He said that voices were also being raised for province in Southern Sindh.

Farooq said that the ratio of direct and indirect taxes was still 35:65 percent and demanded of the government to impose tax on big land-holders.

He also highlighted the importance of equal system for revenue collection and resource sharing.

He said that Karachi had great importance from geo-economic perspective and also demanded reducing cost of doing business and promoting the SMEs sector for economic development.

He demanded increase of 20 percent in salaries of government employees and enhancing minimum wages to Rs 25,000 to facilitate poor labrourers.

Chairperson, Asiya Nasir also endorsed the demand of Farooq Satter and drew the attention of Finance Minister towards increasing the salaries of government employees.

She said there should be at least 20 percent increase in salaries of the government employees.

Dr Farooq also demanded special attention towards public sector entities adding that corruption, under-invoicing and border issues were other challenges, the country was facing.

Sajjida Begum of PTI said the national flag carrier had been ruined due to myopic policies.

She said unfortunately subsides were being provided to the owner of sugar mills rather than the farmers.

She also highlighted the plight of women folk particularly those belonged to FATA and tribal areas.

She said the budget lacked any initiatives to help disabled people which needed special attention of the government.

She demanded business and micro finance plan for the disabled persons.

She also called for special package to business-women so they could play an active role in the national economy.

Malik Muhammad Uzair of PML-N said the government economic policies had put the country on right track and achieved a remarkable 5.8 per cent GDP during the current fiscal year.

He said the government should invest more in climate change. He said the credit also went to the incumbent government for formulating a first ever water policy and passing it through council of common interests unanimously.

Ayesha Sayyad of JI said the government dependency had surged manifold on foreign loans. She said culture of indirect tax culture was being promoted in the country rather than the direct tax.

She said the government employees were paying more tax as compare to other well-off people.

She said that in current fiscal year more fund was allocated for youth while it had been reduced in the next fiscal year.

Sher Akbar of JI said that no concrete plan was devised for controlling inflation, corruption, unemployment and electricity load-shedding in the budget.

He alleged that maximum funds were being spent in the urban areas as compared to rural and under developed areas.

He demanded provision of natural gas to district Buner besides setting up of economic zone.

Later the house was adjourned to meet again on Tuesday at 10:30 am.

Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2018