ISLAMABAD: Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser Thursday said maximum opportunity was given to the members to take part in the general debate and other processes involved in passage of budget 2020-21.
“As many as 107 members from the treasury and 101 members from the opposition took part in the general discussion on the budget,” he said while talking to Adviser to the Prime Minister Dr. Zaheer-ud-Din Babar who called on him here.
Various issues encompassing parliamentary business and smooth conduct of budget session of the National Assembly came under discussion. The forthcoming session of the National Assembly was also discussed.
Asad Qaiser said presentation and passage of the budget was a constitutional obligation of the National Assembly due to which its session was summoned under special arrangements in view of the corona pandemic outbreak in the country.
He said the general debate continued for 57 hours and 8 minutes against initially decided 40 hours.
”As many as 21 hours and 35 minutes and 18 hours and 24 minutes were allocated to the treasury and the opposition respectively according to their numerical strength in the Assembly,” he said, adding that the opposition and treasury were afforded 10 hours and 49 minutes and 6 hours and 20 minutes respectively over and above their actual time allocation.
The Speaker said the treasury and the opposition both needed to be credited for smooth conduct of the proceedings of the budget session.
He said members from both sides of the aisle were equal before him and he always conducted the proceedings of the House strictly in accordance with the rules.
The speaker also praised the parliamentary leaders for their cooperation for facilitating the smooth conduct of budget session.
He said despite fiscal constraints, the government had presenting a tax-free and pro-poor budget for which the government needed to appreciated.
He was confined that the tax-free budget would address the economic woes of the common man.
Asad said COVID-19 had dented the global economies and Pakistan was not an exception.
He said COVID-19 disrupted the life of people and economic activity in the country. He said the working of the Parliament was also affected; however, virtual meetings of the committees were convened during this pandemic in order to exercise parliamentary oversight on executive.
He said digitization of the committee rooms was being assessed to make permanent arrangements for virtual meetings of the committees so that they could more effectively play their constitutional role in case of persistence of this pandemic. Babar Awan highly commended the role of Speaker Asad Qaiser and said he had always been an inspiration for the members of the Parliament.
He said the government was cognizant of the plight of the masses due to COVID-19 and presented a tax-free and balanced budget.
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