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Government faced criticism over boycott of budget speech by opposition parties

The government had to face criticism in the Senate on Friday over boycott of budget speech by opposition parties on Thursday last, as an opposition lawmaker said that the attitude of the government was improper and it itself was bent on derailing the system.

The remarks came after the Leader of the House Raja Zafarul Haq did not want that a privilege motion moved by the ANP legislator Abdul Nabi Bangash be sent to the Senate standing committee on rules of procedures and privileges against the incumbent chairman and member planning of Capital Administration Authority (CDA).

Unlike the other day, Deputy Chairman Senate Sabir Ali Baloch apparently looking pressurised from the government benches because of Thursday’s episode did not want to refer the motion without the consent of the leader of the house.
Abdul Nabi Bangash in his privilege motion said that Chairman CDA Maroof Afzal and Member Planning CDA Wasim Ahmed Khan had continuously been denying meeting him for the last three weeks. He insisted that he wanted the motion be refereed to the committee when Raja Zafarul Haq said he would arrange the lawmaker’s meeting with the chairman CDA.
After Bangash’s insistence, the deputy chairman again and again had to ask the leader of the house to decide the matter and leader of the opposition also voted in favour of Bangash by saying the issue was not of meeting with the CDA chairman but it was of his denial to meet a member of the parliament.

The deputy chairman after a long argument with Haq sent the motion to the committee with latter’s consent.
At this, Bangash during the budget speech came down hard on the government and said the other day’s government response was improper and it looked this was not the policy of the Prime Minster Nawaz Sharif. “They want to derail the system… there are so many “suiciders” within the ranks of PML-N that it did not need “suiciders” from outside,” he said, adding that those responsible to keep the house in order boycotted the house. “The leader of the house is responsible for keeping the house in order,” he remarked. He also demanded a special package for the uplift of FATA and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The government, the other day, boycotted the budget speech as a protest against the decision of the deputy chairman Senate for sending a motion against police officials when the leader of the house said that he was not consulted on the issue.

In the start of the session, Deputy Chairman Senate Sabir Ali Baloch clarified that the impression was wrong yesterday as if the privilege motion was against the prime minister or he was involved in it. “The motion was against the police officials who misbehaved with the lawmaker,” he added. He said that only the inquiry would be launched against those police officials.

Dr Abdul Qayyum Somroo of PPP raised the issue of the vulnerable security system of the Parliament House and the house of former President Asif Ali Zaradri located in Sector F-8/4 of the capital. “The matter should not be taken easy and the security of the Zaradri House should be revived,” he demanded. The leader of the house assured that the reservations of the senator would be addressed.

At least, two lawmakers from the treasury benches – M Hamza and Nuzhat Sadiq – delivering their budget speeches appreciated the government for presenting a good budget for the fiscal year 2014-15. While MQM staged a protest walkout after Tahir Hussain Mashhadi protested with the chair for not giving him the floor of the house for a budget speech before senior politician M Hamza. He said that it was his turn and the floor was with him the other day when an exchange of hot words had started between the government and deputy chairman that had led to adjournment of the house. “How can you insult me…you want to gag me,” he said before leaving the house.

Hamza said that budget showed that the economic situation of the country was better now, trade and investment increased but the agriculture sector was not given priority in it. Nuzhat Sadiq appreciated the PML-N government as well as prime minister for launching different schemes to give training and employment to the youth.

Afrasiab Khattak of ANP limited his budget speech to pay homage to late Baloch nationalist leader Nawabzada Khair Bakhsh Marri, what he said, Marri was the hero of Baloch movement and was not at all a test tube politician or from a test tube political party who were usually produced by the establishment. He did parliamentary politics and was a man of principle. “He was above party politics and he will always live in Baloch history,” he said.

Haji Ghulam Ali in his speech criticised the federal government for allocating meagre amounts for the development projects of KP. He gave a beautiful comparison how munch time would take to complete such projects if the federal government kept on allocating small amount of funds for the projects of the province every year. He also pointed out that more funds were being allocated for projects of Punjab. “There should be an equality under the umbrella of the federation; otherwise federation could not exist,” he warned. He urged the government to revive the package of the previous government for the KP and said that PTI government had failed in the province.

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