Azad Jammu and Kashmir’s (AJK) Legislative Assembly on Sunday passed the Rs68billion budget proposed for the fiscal year 2015-16 amid an opposition walkout.
Speaker Sardar Ghulam Sadiq chaired the budget session as treasury benches gave their nod of approval to the budget, which was presented by Finance Minister Chaudhry Latif Akbar.
Earlier, lawmakers from opposition parties accused the government of not being serious about their reservations and leaving them with no other option except to stage a walkout.
Winding up the budget session, Finance Minister Akbar criticised the opposition for walking out on the last day of the budget session
“The opposition also has a mandate to serve the public and the budget is also for them. However, they have preferred to walk out rather than passing the budget unanimously which is unfortunate,” he said.
He said the AJK government respected the mandate of the opposition but would not accept their “unreasonable” demands.
Commenting on the efficiency of the AJK police, he claimed that their performance was better than other provinces and Gilgit-Baltistan.
“More funds will be allocated for the police training in the region,” he said.
The finance minister expressed his special gratitude to the support of the Chief Secretary Abid Ali, finance secretary and other secretaries in helping finalise the budget.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 29th, 2015.