PML-N bemoans Buzdar govt’s ‘wastefulness’

Several MPAs reluctant in passing supplementary budget used by former govt

After passing the provincial budget, the PML-N led Punjab government has started criticizing former chief minister Sardar Usman Buzdar for wasting the taxpayers’ money on futile projects.

Thursday was the day when a debate over Supplementary Budget started during the session of Punjab Assembly being conducted at Aiwan-e-Iqbal by the treasury lawmakers. The Supplementary Budget is the amount that the previous government spends in addition to the routine sanctioned budget. As the PTI was in power just a few months ago and it used the supplementary budget but it will now be passed by the PML-N government.  It is legally binding on the incumbent government to pass the supplementary budget used by the previous setup. Most of the PML-N lawmakers were hesitant passing the Supplementary Budget used by Buzdar-led government as they said that he wasted money from the exchequer. The session started on Thursday after the delay of almost two hours from its scheduled time with Panel of Chairman Khalil Tahir Sindhu in the chair.

As per the tradition, the chair asked the leader of the opposition, Sabtain Khan, to start the debate on Supplementary Budget but he wasn’t in the House as the opposition is holding its parallel assembly session while terming the session of the government illegal. Speaking on the supplementary budget, the treasury lawmakers demanded a fair probe into the alleged misuse of national exchequer by former PTI CM Sardar Usman Buzdar.

PML-N MPA Azma Zahid Bukhari said that the provincial government is going to pass the previous government’s supplementary budget in this critical situation but said she was astonished to find that billions were spent by the former CM but no record of it is available. “It will be sheer injustice to the poor people if an investigation is not held in a transparent manner,” Azma said. “We don’t know where this amount was spent by Buzdar but still we will have to pass it,” she added.

The PML-N firebrand MPA went on to say that Buzdar didn’t even ask for the share of Punjab from the NFC and therefore it must be probed by the PML-N government. At this, Panel of Chairmen Sindhu endorsed Azma’s viewpoint and said that a commission should be constituted on it and a fair audit be conducted. There are also many issues that need proper probe, the chair ruled.

Saba Sadiq of the PML-N said that there is no economic stability in the country and her government prepared this budget in very difficult circumstances. She also demanded an investigation into the supplementary budget used by the Buzdar government. She also added that the government did not allocate enough budget for women development. When a woman is strengthened economically, she will be more aware of her rights.

A resolution was also passed by the House demanding repair of Chiniot-Faisalabad road on an urgent basis. The resolution was moved by PML-N MPA Maulana Ilyas Chinioti and was passed unanimously. The lawmaker said that this road must be repaired immediately to prevent accidents that have become a routine matter there.