Opposition frustrates bid to pass money bill in NA

Says Senate's recommendations need to be presented; house likely to pass budget today

Riazul Haq October 02, 2018

ISLAMABAD : The opposition on Tuesday technically knocked out the government in the National Assembly when it was all set to pass the mini-budget after over a week-long discussion.

The lawmakers on the treasury benches started trickling in the house unlike their routine right after the session started and Finance Minister Asad Umar was also in the house to make a winding-up speech on the supplementary budget.

However, speaking on a point of order, the Pakistan Peoples Party's (PPP) Naveed Qamar objected to the passage of the bill and said agenda of the day mentioned "consideration of the recommendations made by the Senate on the finance supplementary bill, 2018."

"The recommendations are on the agenda but are not laid out in the house so how can it be passed," Qamar asked the deputy speaker.
The PPP's Khursheed Shah also asked about the Senate's recommendations and requested the government to discuss it on Wednesday (today) because there was no such thing tabled in the house.

National Assembly begins 'naya' tenure

Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Shehryar Afridi, oblivious of the legal fact, reluctantly agreed that it could be taken up on Wednesday. Later, the remaining MNAs delivered speeches on the budget.
Prime Minister Imran Khan also came to the house but Afridi and chief whip Amir Dogar informed him and the finance minister about the glitch. After sitting for a while, the PM left the hall with a number of ministers making a beeline for the door after him. Umar is now likely to make a wind-up speech today.

Debate of mini-budget
The debate on the mini-budget continued for the second consecutive week as the opposition lambasted the government for making tall claims of change but disappointing the common man with its actions. The MNAs from the treasury benches were seen defending the budget and terming it pro-poor.

The PPP's Hina Rabbani Khar said the budget was nothing but tinkering with numbers. "Give us something that reflects direction of the government and shows us that you stand somewhere," Khar said in an aggressive tone.

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz's Mohsin Ranjha also took on the government and said the ruling party had backtracked on its own manifesto and the promises it made to the public.

"I have the manifesto and it tells everything about U-turns and other actions government has already taken against the proposed plan," he said, adding that even the finance minister should have put some effort in writing the document.

President summons NA session on August 13

He asked where the reforms in the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) were. He also commented that there was no plan for minimising the indirect taxation and increasing the direct taxes as the minister used to suggest when he was in opposition.

He also said the government claimed about accountability but recovered only Rs0.9 million through the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Accountability Commission after spending Rs830 million. He also blamed the K-P government for awarding leases to companies of the PTI's former general secretary Jehangir Tareen.

"People are asking if this is the tabdeeli they voted for," he concluded.
The PTI's Pervez Khattak said that he was ready to pay a fine if the member could prove any award of lease contract to Tareen or his company. "The one that he had made with the K-P was before formation of the PTI government in the province in 2009," he said.
The opposition parties also staged a token walkout when the deputy speaker did not allow Ibadullah Khan to prolong his speech which was a flurry of attacks on the government.

Ramaish Lal of the PPP also came down hard on the government and said there was no minorities' minister in the government and that he was better off in the old Pakistan. "I do not need Naya Pakistan. Inflation, price hike and everything bad is happening with the arrival of this government," he said.

Government lawmakers Murad Saeed, Zartaj Gul Wazir and others responded to these objections in their speeches.
The session continued for eight hours without any break to let every member comment on the budget.


Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ

Most Read