Debate on Balochistan budget: Opposition decries ‘insufficient’ funds for development


QUETTA: The Leader of Opposition in the Balochistan Assembly, Maulana Abdul Wasay of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl, has criticised the government for having failed to identify development schemes in the new budget and allocating `insufficient’ funds for ongoing projects. Opening the debate on the budget for year 2013-14 on Sunday, Maulana Wasay told the house that the previous government had increased the budget to Rs180 billion from Rs50bn.

Maulana Wasay said the government should not have concealed development schemes because it had created doubts and cautioned that the reduction in funds for ongoing projects would delay them.

He said the opposition would appreciate good works of the government but at the same time it would not hesitate in pointing out its wrongdoings. The opposition leader said: “We extended cooperation during the election of chief minister and speaker of the provincial assembly to convey a message to Islamabad that treasury and opposition members are united on the issues of Balochistan. “We do not believe in politics of hate and have struggled for the rights of people from Zhob to Gwadar and from Nushki to Loralai as they are all brothers and should get equal rights.”

He said Balochistan had been ignored by the centre in allocation of funds for development projects undertaken by the federal government in the province.

He also criticised the government for withdrawing subsidy on electricity being supplied to farmers in the province and urged the chief minister to take up the matter with the federal government.

WALKOUT: Opposition members walked out of the house in protest against allocation of what they called meagre funds for ongoing projects. However, they returned after MPAs Nawab Mohammad Khan Shahwani, Abdur Rahim Ziaratwal and Jaffar Khan Mandokhel went out of the house on the suggestion of the speaker and assured them that their grievances would be addressed.

Taking part in the in the debate, Manzoor Khan Kakar of the Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party, Mir Karim Nausherwani of the PML-Q, Rahila Durrani, Majid Abro, Kashwar Ahmed of the PML-N and Rehmatullah Baloch of the National Party described the budget as balanced and pro-people.

They said huge allocations had been made for education and health sectors in the budget. They said the opposition leader who was now making hue and cry had remained senior minister in the previous government for 10 years, but did little for the welfare of people. The house approved Rs18.4bn supplementary grants for the year 2012-13 for development and non-development expenditures.

Chief Minister Abdul Malik Baloch requested the house to approve Rs13.9bn for development and Rs4.4bn for non-development expenditures.

The funds, he said, would be used to meet expenditures relating to general administration, pension, administration of justice, police, Balochistan Constabulary, urban work, Water and Sanitation Agency, Levies Force, social welfare, power and management, industry, food, energy department, public order safety, economic service, environment protection and health and housing of community.

The session was adjourned till Monday.

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