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June 29, 2020

NA approves all demands for grants, rejects cut motions

Peshawar

June 29, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly on Saturday approved all the 190 demands for grants worth Rs42.53 trillion of different ministries, divisions and departments while rejecting all cut motions move by the opposition members.

After a break today (Sunday), the National Assembly would take up the Finance Bill for approval tomorrow (Monday).

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan presented a comparison of expenses incurred on visits of then prime ministers Nawaz Sharif, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Yusuf Raza Gilani and then president Asif Ali Zardari to the United States and United Nations with visits of Prime Minister Imran Khan. Giving details, the minister of state said that Nawaz Sharif and Asif Zardari spent 1.1 million dollars and 1.3 million dollars respectively on their visits to the UN, while Imran Khan’s visit cost just 162,000 dollars. Similarly, he said, Asif Zardari and Nawaz Sharif spent 0.7 million dollars and 549,000 dollars on their visits to US, while Imran Khan’s visit cost 67,000 dollars. Mentioning that a finance minister was already absconder, he questioned as to why Nawaz Sharif, whose health was much better, and Salman Shahbaz Sharif, are not returning to the country and face cases against them. He went on to say that Rs474 million were allocated for the Prime Minister Secretariat, while a saving of Rs137 million was made. He pointed out that Zardari did not allow Yusuf Raza Gilani to write letter to Swiss banks and sacrificed his prime ministership.

The PML-N parliamentarian Khurram Dastgir strongly condemned continuous detention of Jang/Geo Group Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman. He said the government was using some institutions as tool to suppress freedom of expression. Earlier, the PML-N parliamentarian Rana Sanaullah said the ATM of Imran Khan during a meeting said his disqualification along with Nawaz Sharif should be considered as his sacrifice. He said the prime minister during a meeting thanked his prime ATM for spending 450,000 dollars on his visit, while saying that he could not spend so much amount from the national exchequer.

“The same benefit of Rs500 billion was drawn from the pockets of the masses,” he alleged, adding that all dacoties have been committed by the same ATM. He advised the prime minster to stop doing business of receiving benefits from ATM at the cost of dacoity on pockets of the people.

Sanaullah said the speaker did not issue his production orders but he never lodged any protest. The PPP parliamentarian Shazia Marri said that instead of selling Kashmir, the prime minister should have toured the United States on official expenses. She said that Nato supply remained shut after visit of Asif Ali Zardari, while Yusuf Raza Gilani also gave respect to the Parliament. Winding up discussion on the cut motions relating his ministry, Minister for National Food Security Fakhar Imam said a mechanism is being evolved to provide fertilisers and other inputs including tractors and pesticides to the farmers at reduced rates.

He said the prime minister had stated the construction industry is number one in economic progress, but he felt that agriculture sector should be on the top. The minister said efforts have been accelerated to cope with the challenge of locusts. He said an area of 2.5 million acres has been sprayed against locusts. He said Rs25 billion will be spent during the next fiscal year to control the crop munching pests.