Karachi -- As the general discussion on budget for fiscal year 2020-21 began in the Sindh Assembly on Saturday, the treasury members termed it 'people friendly' in ongoing COVID-19 pandemic whereas the opposition members came down hard on the provincial government for 'corruption and poor governance.'
Starting the debate, ruling Pakistan Peoples Party's lawmaker Dr Sohrab Sarki said that his party presented people-friendly budget despite unprecedented situation. He said that the salaries of the provincial government employees were raised by 10 percent in the budget. 'We have allocated around Rs 50 billion for Covid-19 related relief package,' he added.
Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan member Rashid Khilji rejected the provincial budget and said it was based on 'biasness' of the PPP towards urban areas of the province. He said that the provincial government had failed to complete several schemes on time and added that no one knew when these schemes would see the light of the day.
Khilji said that the scheme of establishing industrial zone in Larkana was conceived several years ago and there was no sign of its completion in near future. Similarly, water supply scheme for Sehwan and other local government projects in Hyderabad were not completed so far.
'Hyderabad is the second largest city of the province and it faces multiple civic and municipal issued including water shortage, collapsed sewerage system and dilapidated roads,' he lamented.
During his debate on the budget, the MQM-P member drew the attention of Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani towards the empty benches of treasury and said only one minister and a few treasure members were present in the house.
Leader of Opposition Firdous Shamim Naqvi asked how many ministers were present in the house and said that they should have attended the session through video link.
The opposition leader announced that they were staging a symbolic walkout until the ministers attended the proceedings, though the speaker told him that the secretaries of the ministers were present in the house.
The visibly irked speaker said that this behavior of the opposition members was not acceptable and warned that he would be left with no option but to conduct the virtual session if such disturbances by the opposition members continued.
As the opposition members started to leave the house to stage a symbolic walkout, Energy Minister Imtiaz Shaikh said that the opposition was not actually interested in budget debate. He...