Opposition rejects budget, says its proposals ignored

By Our Correspondent
June 15, 2024
Leader of Opposition in the Sindh Assembly Ali Khurshidi talking to the media on June 14, 2024.— Facebook/alikhurshidi119

Leader of Opposition in the Sindh Assembly Ali Khurshidi has said the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) has rejected the new provincial government budget.

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He stated this while talking to media persons on Friday soon after the budget session of the Sindh Assembly. He said the new budget was nothing except a jugglery of figures. Ali said the opposition legislators would register their protest against the new provincial budget in the house. He claimed that the budget had been presented after ignoring all the democratic traditions of the province.

He lamented that the house hadn’t conducted any pre-budget discussion. He said the pre-budget debate in the house would have enabled the opposition legislators to duly convey their suggestions to the treasury benches for incorporation into the new budget. Even then, the opposition legislators had sent their budgetary proposals to the chief minister, he said.

The opposition leader said that the provincial government hadn’t shown any response to their budgetary proposals. The new budget didn’t contain the proposals submitted by the opposition legislators. He said the government had failed to complete the Safe City project for Karachi despite allocations for the project in the past budgets after much fanfare. He lamented that the new budget had ignored the completion of a 65MGD water supply scheme for Karachi.

‘Karachi neglected’

Karachi Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Emir Munim Zafar on Friday rejected the proposed Sindh budget for fiscal year 2024-25 saying that the Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) government neglected Karachi in the budget.

Reacting to the budget that was presented in the Sindh Assembly on Friday, he said Karachi’s share was 95 per cent in the total tax collected by the province but the PPP government as always had neglected the city when it came to announcing development projects.

The JI leader remarked that it was a matter of concern that the PPP government had failed to launch any new development project in the metropolis. He added that there was also ambiguity in the allocation of funds for the ongoing development schemes.

He was of the view that 50 to 60 per cent of the revenue generated by Karachi should be spent on the already ruined infrastructure of the provincial capital.

He lamented that the K-IV water supply project and mass transit sector in Karachi were badly neglected in the budget. The allocation of only Rs45 million for the Karachi Circular Railway project was a joke for Karachi and its residents, he remarked.

Zafar said the Sindh government announced a big allocation in the budget for the education sector but it did not mention how much portion of the budget would be spent on uplifting the sector and how much for payment of salaries.

He added that the health budget was insufficient for the province.

Commenting on the proposed increase of 22 to 30 per cent in the salaries of the public sector employees, the JI leader asked what kind of measures were taken for private sector employees.

The Sindh government raised the minimum wage to Rs37,000 but what would be the mechanism to ensure its implementation, Zafar asked. The JI leader clarified that the party did not want the Sindh government to spend all the resources in Karachi. The interior regions of Sindh should also be developed, he said. He, however, added that the practice of using public sector funds as political bribery should end. He also highlighted the imparity in taxation stating that the salaried class had been overburdened but feudal lords facilitated in the budget.

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