ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan played down the opposition’s what she called hollow threats and asserted that none could impede passage of the budget.
Speaking here at a news conference, she said that the entire nation and the media would be witness to the fact that the opposition would not be able to stop adoption of the budget in the National Assembly (NA). She maintained that instead of hooliganism, the opposition should bring amendments in a democratic way for the budget and the government would consider them.
About the budget speech of Leader of Opposition Mian Shahbaz Sharif in the NA, she charged that he tried to use the platform for his own projection and distorted facts with regards to the budget.
Dr Awan said that Prime Minister Imran Khan wanted supremacy of the law and Constitution while the opposition leader resorted to negative propaganda against him in his speech, which she rejected outright. Those out of power and coming to the Parliament through backdoor, she continued, could not bar the prime minister from his mission. “Masses had rejected the two parties, which had been in power thrice each and elected Imran Khan as their prime minister. Pakistan and Imran Khan are for each other,” she maintained. The special assistant said that the federal budget was the guarantor of the federating units and she expressed hope that the opposition would not delink itself from the public and hence support the budget. “Whosoever has commitment to Pakistan will side with the budget,” she remarked. She emphasised that in the given situation, it was the best possible budget.
About the issuance of production orders of opposition lawmakers, she said that it was the prerogative of the speaker to issue production orders for political actors.
She also announced the 8th interim Wage Board Award in view of media persons’ difficulties. She explained that 325 percent increase equal to Rs8,500 had been proposed for special grade, 306 percent equal to Rs6500 for Grade 1-4 and 355 percent equal to Rs5,000 for grade 5-8. Dr Awan pointed out that it was a step forward for the permanent award and that the interim award was being announced after having consensus of all the stakeholders.
She noted Prime Minister Imran Khan was committed to providing workers their due rights. She said the government had fixed minimum wage as Rs17,500, which showed the prime minister’s determination in this regard.
Dr Awan also declared that the government would also announce a media and advertising policy on August 14 in consultation with all the stakeholders. The special assistant said a committee would be formed to bridge gap between government and media owners for permanent wage award.
She explained the government had proposed grants for press clubs and news agencies in this budget under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan. She continued prime minister’s dream regarding supremacy of the constitution and rule of law would be fulfilled.