PESHAWAR: The ruling party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on Tuesday passed annual budget for 2019-20 by majority amid protest of opposition benches.
Speaker Mushtaq Ahmad Ghani while exercising his powers set aside all the cut motions moved by opposition and allowed the House to pass the grants in ‘yes’ and ‘no’ which prompted the opposition members to stage protest in front of his dais.
The provincial assembly passed three demands for grants worth Rs6.52 billion on Monday while the remaining 58 demands for grants of about Rs855 were passed within two hours on Tuesday.
The opposition had submitted a total of 680 cut motions against 61 demands for grant. However, not a single demand for grant was put to vote in Tuesday session which began at its scheduled time 10:30am.
There were repeated ‘no’ on the part of protesting members against each demand for grant while the treasury benches responded with ‘yes’ and thumping of desks to the motion moved by provincial ministers, demanding amount to be spent for their concerned departments in the next financial year.
The protesting lawmakers tore up copies of budget documents and financial bill and attempted to prevent the ministers from presenting their demands for grants.
The opposition members also chanted slogans against the speaker for not allowing them to speak about their cut motions.
Some of the opposition members even pointed out the lack of quorum but the speaker did not any notice and continued the session till the approval of all demands for grants.
At one time the provincial assembly Hall echoed with slogans against the speaker.
Deputy Speaker Mehmood Jan and Pakistan People’s Party woman MPA Nighat Yasmin Orakzai even exchanged harsh words in the presence of Chief Minister Mahmood Khan in the House.
Finance Minister Taimoor Salim Jhagra also presented the finance bill for next fiscal year without any amendment.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister Mahmood Khan said that all the parliamentary party leaders had held a meeting with him at Speaker House prior to the budget session and assured him that they would cooperate with the government to pass the budget.
He claimed that the least developed districts of the province had been given priority in the budget. He added huge amount had been allocated in the budget for the erstwhile tribal areas.
“We have to discuss and resolve our problems in the assembly rather than moving the courts,” he said.
He said all mega projects including Swat Expressway, Bus Rapid Transit in Peshawar and Gomal Zam Dam would be completed in next financial year.
The chief minister also announced to regularise the Special Police Force in the province and said that they had rendered great sacrifices.
Talking to media persons after the assembly session, Jamaat-e-Islami MPA and former provincial minister Inayatullah said the opposition could move the courts to seek funds for development projects.