Lawmakers from treasury benches, while terming the annual budget 2016-17 a masterpiece, on Friday said that revolutionary steps have been taken for providing relief to the common man and farming community by the Punjab government.
Only treasury members spoke on the second day of discussion on the provincial budget in the National Assembly.
They praised the government for presenting an exemplary and unique budget, and urged the opposition to come up with positive suggestions instead of opposing the budget for the sake of opposition.
“The budget reflects aspirations of the masses and provides relief to the farming community to help them double their yield,” they added.
The session started with Punjab Assembly Speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal in the chair 20 minutes behind its schedule.
Soon after recitation from the holy Quran, treasury member Madiha Rana, while taking part in the debate, eulogised the Punjab government for presenting a welfare-oriented budget.
She said Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif had won hearts of the people by giving a pro-poor and public-friendly budget. She slammed the opposition for undue criticism on the budget.
“The PML-N government believes in serving the masses and solid steps are being taken for welfare of the people,” added Madiha.
On her turn, Najma said the government had come up with a farmer-and education-friendly budget. She said the opposition started criticising the budget without getting through all aspects of the documents. She commended the hefty allocation of Rs 173 billion for development of South Punjab, and also praised the Saaf Pani project of the government and suggested inclusion of Dera Ghazi Khan in the project.
Taking part in the debate, Chaudhry Muhammad Iqbal said the government had offered ideal incentives to the farming community.
“Allocation of Rs 100 billion for loans to small farmers and purchase of agri medicines was a laudable step,” he said.
Hailing the Rs 56.76 billion allocation for the education sector, Dr Farzana Nazir said it showed government’s seriousness towards promotion of education.
Munnawar Ghous suggested withdrawal of agriculture income tax on growers or deferring it during the current year.
Another member Abdur Rauf Mughal said that revolutionary steps had been taken in the budget with regards to the agriculture sector.
A minority member, Tariq Masih Gill, describing the Punjab budget as people-friendly, said that the opposition was fearful of its future after the year 2018.
Malik Muhammad Arshad suggested that an export policy should be made for farmers, while Amjad Ali Javed demanded establishment of an intermediate and secondary education commission.
Abdur Razak Dhilon flayed those creating impediments through politics of sit-ins and vowed to continue the journey of development in the country.
Legislators Waheed Gull and Malik Javed Awan also spoke in favour of the Punjab budget.
On completion of day’s agenda, the chair adjourned the assembly session till Monday at 11:00 am.
The discussion on the budget 2016-17 would continue till June 21, while voting on annual demands would be held on June 22-23. On June 24, the annual budget for the fiscal year 2016-17 would be approved by the House.