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- Wednesday, June 15, 2011 - From Print Edition




Parliamentary leader of PML-F Makhdoom Ahmed Mehmood has demanded the government hold the local government elections immediately to put an end to the prevailing sense of deprivation among the people of the South Punjab.


In his speech on the second day of the budget session, the PML-F parliamentary leader who is also an ally of PML-N in the Punjab Assembly, once again called for concrete steps to address the grievances of the people living in the Southern belt of Punjab.


Ahmed Mehmood, a seasoned parliamentarian who hails from district Rahim Yar Khan, stated that people were losing trust fast in the political system just because they had not yet receives any benefit from it.


He said that people living in Lahore could pay more taxes than the people living in the other parts of the province, and sincere efforts should be made for the purpose. He also that network of tax should be expanded and agriculture sector should also be included in it.


Ahmed Mehmood, commenting over the rise in demand for a separate Siraiki province, said that a major reason behind the demand was the sense of deprivation among the people of the areas. In order to address their grievances, the Punjab government should immediately announce local government elections there so that power could be transferred to the people.


Chaudhry Zaheer ud Din, parliamentary leader of PML-Q, in his budget speech, slammed the Shahbaz government for turning the province into a default state.


“It seems that the Punjab government has replaced a smaller begging bowl with a bigger one; it has announced to receive some 20 billions rupees as foreign aid,” said the former Opposition leader.


Ch Zaheer said if the Punjab government had trust in its performance, why it was reluctant to hold the LG polls. He said the government was left with only 15 months and it must take concrete steps. He said had the performance of the government been up to the mark, The Mall would have never have turned into a ‘Hartaal Road” (strike).


Expressing concern over the Punjab government’s treatment of the agriculture sector, Zaheer said that, during the last three years, population of the province had been up by 8.8 percent but there was an increase of only 0.5 % in agri production. He said it was the PML-Q which had given relaxation of tax till 12.5 acres of land, asking the government to facilitate the farmers possessing up to 25 acres. He also called for setting up of agri research wing and social forestry programme.


He said that the fate of the Yellow Cab Scheme would not be different than that of Food Stamp, Sasti Roti and Ashiana schemes.