HomeNationalNational Assembly starts debate on Federal Budget 2021-22

National Assembly starts debate on Federal Budget 2021-22

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ISLAMABAD, Jun 17 (APP): Lawmakers from both the treasury and opposition benches in the National Assembly on Thursday formally initiated debate on the Federal Budget 2021-22 after Leader of the Opposition Shehbaz Sharif completed his opening speech that remained unfinished for the last three days due to disruption in the House proceedings.

Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal Pakistan’s (MMAP) lawmaker Mufti Abdul Shakoor expressed concern over the increased inflation in the country.

He said allocation of funds for the erstwhile FATA (Federally Administered Tribal Areas should be made as per the commitment as most of the region was without proper basic infrastructure and communication system.

He called for restoring peace in the ex-FATA as terrorist elements were trying to become active again there.

Salahuddin of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) said the government allocated huge amount for the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) while taxes for the small businesses had also been reduced.

He said the (Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate was satisfactory and the government was moving in the right direction to achieve the economic goals. However, he appealed to the government to check inflation in the country.

He criticized the Sindh government for ignoring the remote areas of province, along with Hyderabad and Karachi in the past. He demanded to set up more provinces with special funds allocations for their development.

Balochistan National Party-Mengal’s Agha Hassan Baloch said Balochistan had been neglected in the past and its various areas lacked basic facilities even today.

The people of Gwadar, Pasni and other cities, he said, were still deprived of basic facilities like water and education, and complained of less allocation made in the PSDP this year for the remote areas.

He claimed here were few industries in Balochistan while taxes were received by other provinces. Despite having geo-political importance, with reservoirs of natural gas, he said, the province was backward.

He called for constructing Karachi-Quetta-Chaman Motorway, besides the development of basic infrastructure across the province.

Independent lawmaker Aslam Bhoottani thanked the government for presenting the best federal budget, with sufficient funds allocation for the neglected areas of Balochistan.

He stressed the need for mitigating sufferings of fishermen earning their livelihood in Balochistan waters, and taking necessary measures for non-functional industrial zones in the province.

He said there should be no undue restrictions on the legal border-trade in Balochistan.

Taking part in the debate, Saad Waseem of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) asked the government to take steps to control inflation as it was pushing the people below the poverty line.

He complained of unscheduled electricity load-shedding in his constituency.
Aliya Hamza Malik of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) said the government had present a pro-poor budget, which would help end poverty and create job opportunities.

She said huge allocations were made for poverty alleviation, dams, higher education and other sectors in the budget. Various incentives were also announced for the uplift of masses, particularly the poor and middle classes, she added.

She said tax exemptions were also announced for various sectors, which would provide considerable relief to the people.

MMAP’s Kamal Uddin appreciated the Minister for Communications and the government for allocating Rs 5 billion in the budget for the construction of a road linking Pishin district with Afghanistan. The road would help enhance trade with Afghanistan and other parts of the country, he added.

He said there was no mobile network in Pashin district and students could not get online education due to unavailability of cellular network. He urged the government to provide the cellular and internet facility to the people of remote areas.

Nuzhat Pathan of the PTI said the government had successfully contained the COVID-19 pandemic with devising prudent policies. She said despite so many challenges, the government presented a people-friendly budget.

She said the government was providing interest free loans to the common people for buying their own house first time in the country’s history.

Rana Mubashir Iqbal of the PML-N suggested that corona vaccine should be administered through polio teams as they had enough experience of vaccinating children during door-to-door campaigns.

Kanwal Shauzab of the PTI said Prime Minister Imran Khan was the first leader of Islamic Ummah, who had highlighted the “Islamophobia” issue at international fora.

She said the incumbent government had successfully removed all the “economic mines” planted by the last PML-N regime.

The PTI government inherited record current account deficit of $ 19.8 billion, but owing to its prudent policies it was now in surplus. The construction and large scale manufacturing sectors had shown progress.

She said the country’s exports, which had plunged during the PML-N government, were now witnessing sharp increase.

The textile sector received record export orders, she added.
Kanwal said the government had announced a huge package for the construction industry.
She said billions of rupees package was given to the deserving people during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Muhammad Khan Daha of the PML-N said his party’s government had eradicated the menace of terrorism and laid a network of roads across the country. It also ended power load-shedding.

Later, the House adjourned to meet again on Friday at 11am.

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