ISLAMABAD: The Senate also experienced commotion on Friday on the issue of passage of the ‘mini budget’ in the National Assembly a day earlier. The government came under scathing criticism by the opposition parties for “making life of masses miserable” and pushing them to the verge of rebellion.
The opposition senators termed fuel price adjustment of Rs60 billion in December power bills and Rs60 billion in January a dacoity on the pockets of poor people. The government benches held the past regimes of PPP and PMLN responsible for inflation and weak economy and locking of the Parliament 3-4 times, and also criticised the opposition for wasting public money by not letting the House to do its business by pointing out quorum.
Senator Mushtaq Ahmad, who was not given the floor, strongly protested over what he called dacoity and said the rulers were pushing people to resort to rebellion amid soaring inflation and costlier commodity rates, dubbing it as a great injustice to them and lamented that the people of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa were facing prolonged load-shedding.
Leader of Opposition Yusuf Raza Gilani rose to support the JI senator and said that they were already agitating on the mini-budget, containing IMF’s very tough conditionalities, beyond the masses’ endurance. “Increases every month can’t be tolerated by people. Indeed, people are being incited to agitation,” he added.
He also protested on the way the mini-budget was bulldozed in the National Assembly and contended that there should be discussions on these issues in the august House. Leader of the House Dr Shahzad Waseem advised the opposition to take one position and desist from pursuing double standards. He said that all their threats to the government had fallen flat, like bringing a no-confidence motion or a list of long marches. Like, he added, they had announced in the House not to let the min-budget sail through, and it was passed on Thursday. “Where was your majority, you were bragging about and claiming that you are in contact with people. And, one when returned from London, he was all smiles in the National Assembly and yesterday, he looked concerned and embarrassed with his face down,” he noted.
Senator Gilani reacted to his statement on majority and said that if it was all about majority, then why did they not care about 220 million people and you managed to get the mini-budget passed and all the newspapers splashed headlines of bulldozing the legislation.
Earlier, the House could not take up the orders of the day, except a supplementary question, asked by JUIF Senator Kamran Murtaza and as State Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan rose to give reply, he mounted an attack on the opposition first for undermining dignity of the Parliament during the National Assembly session on Thursday. He was asked by the presiding officer to resume his seat, after one opposition senator pointed out quorum, following the exit of entire opposition members from the House.