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June 18, 2019

PML-N leadership must be booked under Section 420, says Basharat


June 18, 2019

LAHORE: Bashing the PML-N leadership for massively plundering the national wealth, Punjab Law Minister Basharat Raja on Monday said it must be booked under Section 420 for this crime.

Speaking on Punjab Assembly floor after the address of Opposition leader Hamza Shahbaz, Basharat Raja once again expressed the resolve to set up a commission to probe corruption in Punjab.

In his speech in PA, Raja Basharat stated that the fear expressed by Hamza Shahbaz in his speech was quite justified as the elements involved in corruption had to fear their fate. Slamming the previous Punjab government led by former chief minister Shahbaz Sharif, the law minister stated that the corruption of that government could well be assessed from the fact that it issued bogus cheques of Rs56 billion to the province.

“Does it happen anywhere in the world where a government issues bogus cheques; in their tenure, bogus cheques of Rs56 billion were issued to this province, a case of 420 must be registered against them” said Raja Basharat while grilling the PML-N leadership for pushing the province towards economic disaster.

He said Hamza Shahbaz’s concern over the economic situation of the country was quite right because a country whose foreign minister turned into an absconder and just because of their malpractices, Raja said, the present government even had to sell buffaloes to pay the debts.

He said that the government would even auction other things to save this province whose resources had been eaten up by the previous government. When the Law Minister was interrupted by PML-N’s Rana Muhammad Iqbal Khan, Raja asked him clear the bills of Punjab House, Islamabad, which were still unpaid by his party members.

He said an amount of Rs500 million was pending on the PML-N leaders who used Punjab House and appealed the Speaker to order issuance of its report in PA on which the chair issued instructions to lay the report of the amount that had to be paid by the MPAs in past.

Raja Basharat said that like centre, a commission must be set up in Punjab to probe corruption in the loans sought by the previous government and he would also take up this issue with the PTI’s parliamentary meeting. Responding to the criticism of Hamza Shahbaz on government over lesser allocations for important sectors, Raja Basharat said that the government wouldn’t spend money on 56 companies but it would only focus on the schemes that were beneficialfor the province. He also said it was strange to see the Opposition leader pointing fingers towards the austerity measures of the PTI government whereas in the tenure of his government, there were four camp offices of the chief minister. He said all the expenditures of the four camp offices used by the CM Punjab were paid by the government.

He said the expenditures of CM office had reduced by 7 percent whereas the present chief minister was only using one building as his camp office which was 7-Club. The law minister while further bashing the Opposition leader said he must answer where the money on projects like Murree Saaf Pani, Punjab Assembly building were spent adding the commission to probe irregularities in these schemes would bring to surface everything.

Challenging the PML-N claims regarding Local Government, he said the previous government’s commitment to transfer power to the public representatives could well be assessed from the fact that it past the LG Law in 2013, held elections in 2015 and administered oath from the elected members in 2017.

Regarding Southern Punjab, he said the present government would ensure that unlike past all the amount allocated for that region shouldn’t be spent anywhere else.

Sibtain Khan attends PA session Earlier, after the issuance of Production Order, Sibtain Khan, former minister for forest and fisheries attended the Punjab Assembly session. Sibtain has been arrested by NAB for misusing his position as Minister for Mines and Minerals in 2007. Punjab Assembly Speaker adjourned the PA proceedings until Tuesday (today).

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