MUZAFFARABAD: A general debate on the budget for the fiscal year 2017-2018 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly (AJKLA) continued on Sunday despite being a holiday as the House put the rule in abeyance to conclude it before the Eidul Fitr holidays.
The legislative Assembly met at lodging hall on second consecutive day with speaker Shah Ghulam Qadir in the chair to debate the budget.
Treasury member Pir Ali Shah Bukhari while participating in the debate said that the budget announced by the government for next fiscal year was balanced and people-friendly which would boost development in the region.
Participating in the debate Member Assembly and Special Adviser to AJK Prime Minister Sardar Khan Bhadar Khan described the budget as balanced one and congratulated Finance Minister Dr Najeed Naqi.
He urged the government to bring changes in Zakat system to enable it to benefit genuine and needy people and discourage misappropriation of Zakat funds meant for welfare of poor downtrodden class.
Another treasury legislator Yasir Rasheed said it was a huge budget in the history of AJK having total volume of Rs94.41 billion which would change the fate of the territory. However, he demanded the government to raise the allocation for rehabilitation of the 1947 refugees to develop their housing colonies.
Member Legislative Assembly Chaudhry Shehzad from Muzaffarabad said the government was committed to bringing good governance in the region and the budget reflected its vision which would bring changes in the lives of the masses soon.
Opposition member and PTI leader Dewan Ghulam Mohiuddin also appreciated the raise in development budget but stressed upon the government to utilise funds for real development projects so as to benefit the general public without any discrimination.
He stressed the need for placing an effective monitoring system on the spending of development budget and development projects for better result to attain the requisite objectives.
The house adjourned the debate till Monday which will continue till Wednesday and Thursday has been fixed for approval of the budget in the house.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 19th, 2017.