ISLAMABAD, Jun 22 (APP): Members of the National Assembly (MNAs) on both sides of the aisle Monday urged the government to allocate more financial resources for the development projects and social sector.

Taking part in the debate on federal budget 2020-21 in the National Assembly, Saifur Rehman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) said the government led by Prime Minister Imran Khan had presented a balanced, people-friendly and tax-free budget despite the difficult situation caused by outbreak of coronavirus.

He said the civic issues of Karachi, a city of 20 million, could not be resolved in the last 40 years. Its residents were facing severe shortage of water.

Ehsanur Rehman Mazari of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) said the government should have increased salaries and pensions of the employees as they were facing the brunt of inflation.

He alleged that government failed to control the spread of coronavirus and locust attacks. No funds were allocated for the development of agriculture sector, he added.

Sajid Khan said last year the government released Rs 28 billion for the development of tribal districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa out of the allocated amount of Rs 162 billion.

The tribal people should be provided clean drinking water and more funds should be allocated for the development schemes of tribal districts, he stressed.

Romina Khurshid Alam lamented that stakeholders, including industrialists and working classes, should have been not taken into confidence on the budget and no relief was given to the salaried class.

She said policies should be devised to attract investment in the country.

Dr Darshan said no relief was given in the budget to the people and the decisions. He feared that unemployment and poverty would increase in the country.

Muhammad Hashim Notezai said the settled issues of devolution of power to the provinces under the 8th Amendment and the National Finance Commission Award should not be changed.

He said funds should be allocated for establishing an Agriculture University in Balochistan for which land was given by Balochistan National Party chief Akhtar Mengal.

Jamaluddin said it was pledged by the government that Rs 110 billion would be given for the development of merged tribal districts in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa every year but only Rs 48 billion were allocated in the next year’s budget.

Similarly, Rs 20 billion should have been earmarked for the internally displaced persons in the Public Sector Development Programme, he added.

Aftab Jehangir said the provinces were getting 63 percent of the financial divisible pool whereas 47 percent was given to the federal government so the former should be asked where they were spending the money.

Instead of increasing salaries of government employees with an allocation of Rs 63 billion, the Sindh government should have spent Rs two billion each for development of 29 districts of the province, he added.

Ali Wazir said the availability of Urea and other fertilisers should be ensured in tribal areas.

He demanded allocation of funds for internally displaced persons and opening of border points for start of trade activities between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan assured that issues of tribal districts would be resolved.

Attaullah criticised the Sindh government for its failure to improve education and health facilities in the province, especially Karachi.

Dr Shazia Sobia said despite warnings the federal government could not deal with the coronavirus and locust attacks. She said the federal government should not cut down the budget for education and health.

Uzma Riaz appreciated the government for presenting a tax free budget and for making substantial allocations for health, education and social sectors.