For the last four years, the PPP government has been raising the slogan of “Roti, Kapra aur Makan” in each provincial budget, but it has failed to translate the slogan into a reality, said the PML-Likeminded group leader in the Sindh Assembly, Abdul Razzaq Rahimoon, on Monday.
The government yet again raised the slogan in this year’s Sindh budget, he said in his reaction to the provincial budget for the next fiscal year.
The legislator from Thar said a Rs7 billion-deficit budget was presented, and except for four to five districts, the rest, including Thar, were ignored.
Rahimoon said the government had claimed to have provided billions of rupees for relief to the common man, but people were committing suicide outside the Karachi Press Club.
A PML-F legislator, Nusrat Abbasi, said the government had been increasing uplift funds, but they were not being utilised.
Abbasi, whose party is part of the government, said the main thing was lack of good governance in the province.
She demanded a comprehensive briefing on the Zulfikarabad city, saying that the people had reservations over it.
Abbasi said the government had claimed to have provided 25 acres of land to poor women, but their financial condition had not improved as they could not cultivate the lands.
She said the government had increased the education budget, but still 5,000 schools had been lying closed.
NPP legislator Arif Jatoi said the budget was good on paper, but the ground realities were different.
ANP legislator Amir Nawab said the budget was good as education, health and law and order had been given special attention with allocations of Rs111 billion, Rs50 billion and Rs40 billion respectively.
Nawab, who is the labour minister, complained that their party had not been consulted on the budget-making process.
He revealed that the chief minister and the finance minister had given assurances to them that the Pakhtun-dominated areas in the city would be provided with uplift funds.
Local Government Minister Agha Siraj Durrani and Law Minister Ayaz Soomro said that under the circumstances, it was the best budget.
Meanwhile, Central Media Coordinator PML-N Dr Taj Malik said the Sindh budget was “just a jugglery of figures” and the government would not be able to implement all the announcements on its own. “There are a lot of restrictions on the government by the IMF and the World bank. How does the government plan on paying the salaries of the people who take up the proposed 20,000 jobs that will be created?” he asked.
“Employees of the education and health sectors observe strikes on a daily basis as their salaries have not been paid for months,” he said.
PML-F Sindh General Secretary and Adviser to the Chief Minister on Special Education Imtiaz Ahmed Sheikh said that if law and order was under control, businessmen would be encouraged to make investments.
“It is the responsibility of the government to implement the budget in letter and spirit, otherwise it can face serious repercussions. The fact that funds for education have been increased is a good thing.”
PML-Q leader and adviser to the chief minister on relief department Halim Adil Sheikh was of the view that it was a balanced budget, but all proposals must be implemented at any cost. “Cabinet members should ensure that funds do not lapse. If the proposals are not implemented, the current government may lose the upcoming election.”