NA has marathon session on budget.

Byline: Javaid-ur-Rahman

ISLAMABAD -- After days of ruckus, the National Assembly yesterday saw a marathon sitting that continued for around twelve hours, perhaps breaking the previous records.

The treasury mostly lauded the first full-fledged PTI government budget while opposition termed it IMF-dictated financial layout. Lawmakers from both sides slated the governments of each other in their speeches.

PML-N parliamentary leader Khwaja Muhammad Asif said the incumbent government had lost its credibility only in ten months.

He said members in the first row of PTI would prove "passengers" and the [PM-proposed] investigation commission should deal with them first.

Khawaja said that opposition would give full chance to the government to complete its term as they did not want them to have any excuse in future. 'Despite keeping former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in confinement, his roots are becoming strong... Narrative of his party is becoming popular with every passing day,' he said.

He regretted that his party leader was not being allowed to visit his doctor abroad. 'Government denies requests for medical treatment abroad but it has brought a 'doctor' [Hafeez Shaikh] to fix the economy of country,' he mockingly said.

'It is insult of elected members as unelected members are being appointed,' said the former defence and power minister. He said the withdrawal of zero rated facility for export oriented industries would reduce job opportunities.

PPP's central leader Syed Khursheed Shah termed federal budget a jugglery of words. 'Even members from treasury are criticising the budgetary proposals,' he said.

The government should fix 15 percent funds for the construction of dams. 'We did not make hue and cry after coming into power like incumbent government but provided relief to masses,' he said.

Shah made mockery of the claims PTI has made in the run up to general elections. 'Has this government not introduced amnesty scheme? Have the prime minister and governor houses turned into libraries? Has the value of rupee not depreciated against dollar?,' he asked sarcastically.

In the middle of the proceedings, House Speaker Asad Qaiser asked State Minister on Finance Hamad Azhar and Adviser to PM on Finance Abdul Hafeez Shaikh that at least one of them must be present in the house during the budget debate, or he would suspend the house proceedings.

PTI's senior leader Fakhar Imam said there was a need to take innovative steps for improving the GDP growth...

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