Punjab Assembly approves finance bill amid Opp boycott | Pakistan Today

Punjab Assembly approves finance bill amid Opp boycott

–Elahi says a report on property vandalism by the opposition will be presented

–Hamza Shehbaz accuses Elahi of being ‘overly loyal’ to government 

LAHORE: Punjab Assembly on Thursday approved the budget for the remaining fiscal year 2018-19 as members of the Opposition continued to boycott the budget session.

Six Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) lawmakers had been barred from entering the assembly after they allegedly caused chaos and destroyed government property during a budget session on October 16, following which the party had boycotted the budget sessions until their members of provincial assembly (MPAs) were granted entry to PA.

“This is the first budget of Punjab’s history that has been accepted by all,” Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar said in his speech. “This is an honour for me and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf.”

“We will not do any illegal work nor stop any legal work. We will work in all districts with the consultation of the members of this assembly,” he promised.

The chief minister also said that “a pre-budget discussion will be held before the next budget” and that “the next budget will be devised after consulting the MPAs.”

The assembly was adjourned for an indefinite period of time.

Speaking to media outside the assembly, Speaker Pervaiz Elahi said that PML-N members had caused a ruckus during the first session of the assembly, resorting to hooliganism when the provincial chief minister was elected and now they’ve tried to disrupt proceedings for the fourth time.

He accused Punjab Assembly Opposition Leader Hamza Shahbaz of “attempting to strangle lawmakers”, adding that he was just “like a child”.

“If a child is stubborn, those standing next to him should explain to him what is right,” he added.

Responding to questions pertaining to the Opposition’s boycott of PA, he added: “Opposition should learn manners on how to talk.”

“An investigative report regarding vandalism of provincial assembly property will be presented before the Parliament,” Elahi further said.

He revealed that investigations were being conducted into projects initiated by the former PML-N government.


However, Hamza Shehbaz retaliated to the speaker’s remarks, accusing him of behaving partially to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government.

“The speaker issued a rolling call on a fake picture and six of our MPAs were suspended. Why is the speaker trying to be overly loyal to the government? The speaker always forms a committee to conduct an inquiry and then issues rolling,” he said.

Commenting on Prime Minister Imran Khan’s address to the nation a day earlier, Hamza commented, “Yesterday, Niazi Sb addressed the nation for 10 minutes.”

He further added that the prime minister speaks of accountability but only those can ensure accountability who have “a clean slate themselves”.

“Imran Khan has appeared for hearings in the helicopter case and should issue a response regarding the use of an official helicopter and fuel wastage,” Hamza added.

“We will firmly stand against U-turns,” he said and added that the opposition will surely hold the PTI government accountable on their promise of providing one million jobs.

On October 19, Hamza had headed a protest against banned entry of MPAs in the assembly compound, as the opposition chanted anti-government slogans.

Addressing media outside the assembly, he had called Speaker Pervaiz Elahi a “seasoned robber” who was “incompetent” and couldn’t maintain the decorum of the house.

Speaking of the behaviour exhibited by his party members, he had claimed, “A fake video framing six candidates was spread to misalign PML-N.”

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