NA approves Rs 115.293 bln demands of grant

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ISLAMABAD, June 20 (APP): The National Assembly on Monday approved 22 demands of grant of Rs 115,293,115,000 for Cabinet, Establishment, Aviation and other divisions for the fiscal year 2016-17.

Though the opposition lawmakers used the weapon of cut motions to
criticise the government over what they call unnecessary spending,
however the House rejected all the 335 cut motions.

The demands of grant were presented to the House by Finance Minister
Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar.

The House approved demands grant of Rs 173,918,000 for Cabinet,
Rs 5,641,838,000 for Cabinet Division and Rs 245,328,000 for Emergency Relief and Repatriation.

It also approved Rs 5,393,667,000 for other expenditures of Cabinet
Division and Rs 27,369,384,000 for its development expenditure.

The House approved Rs 86,135,000 for Aviation Division and
Rs 4,695,215,000 for its development expenditure.

It also approved Rs 18,297,928,000 for Capital Administration and
Development Division and Rs 2,562,237,000 for its development expenditure.

Some Rs 2,318,693,000 was approved for Establishment Division with
Rs 1,902,500,000 for its other expenditure. Similarly, Rs 550,779,000
demand of grant was approved for Federal Public Service Commission.

The house approved Rs 45,074,000 for National Security Division,
Rs 881,594,000 for Prime Minister’s Office, Rs 239,821,000 for Board
of Investment, Rs 64,904,000 for Prime Minister’s Inspection Commission, Rs 8,059,014,000 for Atomic Energy Commission and Rs 91,889,000 for Stationery and Printing.

It also approved development expenditure of Rs 2,562,237,000 for
CAAD and Rs 2,500,000,000 for SUPARCO, besides Rs 27,831,469,000 for capital outlay on development of Atomic Energy.

In total 335 cut motions were presented by the opposition members
to reduce the funds of these divisions for not showing up to the mark performance during the outgoing fiscal year.

Earlier, participating in the discussion in National Assembly, Syed
Naveed Qamar of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) urged the government to take preventive measures to avoid impending losses in the looming floods as predicted by the Pakistan Meteorological Department.

Referring to alleged receipt of dual benefits of pension and salaries
by National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman Qamar Zaman Chaudhry, he said the former Accountant General of Pakistan had been sacked on the same charges. The government should move to rectify the situation, he added.

Dr Shireen M Mazari of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) said the people
of Federal Capital living in G and I series were not getting facilities
which were being enjoyed by those living in posh sectors.

She lamented lack of sports facilities in the Capital’s schools being
run by the federal government.

Abdul Waseem of Mutahidda Qaumi Movement criticised the  government while Sher Akbar Khan of Jamat-e-Islami questioned the justification of doubling the budget of Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal despite what he called its poor performance.

Jamshed Dasti of Awami Raj Party criticised the poor performance of
Pakistan International Airlines.

Dr Azra Fazl Pechchu of PPP demanded more facilities for hospitals of
the Federal Capital. Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) had failed to regularise the services of teachers serving in Federal Directorate of Education (FDE), she added.

Nafeesa Inayatullah Khatak of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) lamented
lack of clean drinking water facilities in Islamabad.

Salahuddin Sheikh of MQM alleged that the institutions working
under the Cabinet Division were not performing up to the mark.
PPP’s Nafeesa Shah inquired about the mechanism that was being used
to asses poverty in the country. “Unless we have proper figures, we
cannot provide appropriate relief to the poor and the deserved.”

She also called for providing allowances to the disabled. She alleged
that the Federal Public Service Commission was a non-transparent
organization.

Ali Muhammad of PTI suggested various measures to change the attitude of bureaucrats to promote healthy and good bureaucratic culture. He said it was not easy for a person having income of Rs 14,000 to meet his expenditures. He demanded the funds allocated for the Prime Minister’s Inspection team should be cut down.

Kishwar Zara of MQM said meagre amount had been allocated
for the disabled persons. She criticized the government for not
providing development funds to the women parliamentarians.

Shazia Marri of PPP said that the National Finance Commission (NFC)
Award which was due in June last year but it was yet to be announced.

Participating in the debate, Shehryar Afridi said hospitals in Capital lacked proper accommodation for patients and had no proper laboratories. He said there were more than 4,000 registered drugs in the market, but there was no check and balance on them.

He said there was not even a single facility of clean drinking water in the Capital city. He also lamented the condition of schools.

Sheikh Rashid of Awami Muslim League alleged that the company, which
was banned in Pakistan and its case was referred to National
Accountability Bureau, was given the contract of Nandipur project.

He lamented that how the judiciary with 10 per cent strength could
provide justice and educational institutions with only 20 per cent
staff strength could impart education.

He said the problems of load-shedding, gas shortage, unemployment
and injustice still existed in the country.

Shahida Rehmani said teachers were on roads while hospitals had
unhygienic conditions. There were so many such problems which the
government should address, she added.

Chaudhry Nissar said as per parliamentary rules debate on cut
motions was specific and should be limited to the related issue.

Winding up the debate, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Shaikh
Aftab said efforts were under way to make the PIA a profitable
organization.

Talking about Civil Aviation, he said enhanced security and other
arrangements at all airports of the country had been made. He said
the Civil Aviation was working hard to complete the Islamabad Airport
as soon as possible. He, however, added that since the PC-I of the
project was faulty that was why the airport’s completion was delayed.

He said that Pakistan Bait-ul-Mall did not have sufficient funds
to meet its day to day operations.

He said Rawalpindi Development Authority and Capital Development
Authority (CDA) would jointly construct Chirah Dam, besides bringing
water from Sindh River to overcome shortage of clean drinking water in
the twin cities.