ISLAMABAD, May 31 (APP): The upper house of the parliament on Wednesday continued discussion on Finance Bill, 2017, containing the annual budget statement, under article 73 of the constitution.
Participating in the discussion, Senator Nuzhat Sadiq said that due to prudent economic policies of the present government, the country was on the way of economic progress.
She said that economic indicators were impressive which had
been acknowledged by the international financial organizations and rating agencies.
She said that when the PML-N came into power after general elections, there were several challenges for the new government but the PML-N leadership due to its commitment and vision resolved all issues and initiated mega development projects for thw welfare of the people.
She said that the federal government had been paying special focus on power generation projects to overcome loadshedding issue. She added the government had also started alternative energy projects in the country.
Senator Ilyas Bilour said that the government should improve its energy policies by initiating mega electricity projects to overcoming loadshedding issue.
He suggested the government to further increase the salary of government employees and increase minimum wages of the poor employees.
Senator Dr Jehanzeb Jamaldini said that parliamentarians from both benches should appreciate the good steps of the government and added that issues could not be resolved on criticizing every matter.
He said that as the government has started work on construction of new dams, at least six dams should also be constructed on priority basis in Balochistan, he demanded.
He said that around 10 million acre feet water was being wasted in Balochistan.
He said that there was a need to initiate energy projects in Balochistan in current budget besides alternative energy projects.
Senator Muzaffar Hussain Shah said the government had paid special attention on agriculture sector which was a good sign.
He added that the government had made adequate allocations for farmers and asked to announce more incentives for them.
He suggested to encourage local tractor manufacturing industry besides announcing subsidy on fertilizers and waiving off GST on fertilizers.
He also asked to reduce tariff on agriculture tube wells.
Senator Gull Bushra suggested to further increase in salary of government employees while minimum wages should also be enhanced. She said that sufficient amount should be allocated for FATA in the budget.
Senator Nehal Hashmi appreciated the government for presenting a balanced budget. He said that GDP ratio was impressive and a record amount has been allocated for development programmes.
Mr. Hashmi said that per capita income has increased and such indicators show positive trend for economy.
He termed budget 2017-18 as `bold budget and said that government had talked about achieving the targets which are not far now.
Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed said that CPEC was `turning point’ for the country and Rs. 180 billion had been allocated for it during the current budget.
He said that 682 kilometer long railway line would be extended from Havelian to China Border while football stadium and other sports promotion activities would be ensured under CPEC project.
He urged the government for effective steps to counter Indian propaganda against CPEC and said that real image of Pakistan as peaceful country should be portrayed before the international world.
Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed also demanded to initiate insurance scheme for working journalists and cameramen as well. He said that journalists and cameramen have been the victim of terrorism and there was dire need to launch scheme for uplift of journalist community.
He said that Charter of Economy should be focused by neglecting all political differences and various sectors including energy, economy, education, environment, and health should be focused.
Sehar Kamran criticized the budget and demanded for more steps to make it poor friendly.
Sitara Ayaz demanded the government to further raise in salary and pension. She demanded more amount for rehabilitation of IDPs and also raising salary of grade- IV employees in FATA.
Senator Salahuddin Tirmizi appreciated the government for presenting a balanced budget. He said that the country’s economy was on path of right direction.
Senator Saleem Zia said that due to strong economic policies of the government, the country’s economy was being considered as emerging economy of the world which it is being acknowledged by international economic monitors.
Senator Gianchand said that more incentives should be announced in the budget for poor segment of society.
Senator Muhammad Zafar Ullah Khan Dhandla termed the budget as people friendly budget. He said that several incentives have been announced by the government in the budget for poor people.
Senator Nisar Muhammad said that Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Planning and Development have an important role to plan, approve and run the development projects in the country.
He said that sufficient amount should be allocated in the budget for relief of victims of terrorists incidents.