PESHAWAR – Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on Wednesday continued debate on provincial budget for financial year 2014-15 for second consecutive day.
The opposition legislators criticised the budget while provincial ministers defended it as people-friendly. In the morning proceedings of the session, Sikander Hayat Sherpao, Sardar Hussain Babak, Auragzeb Naolotha and Anisa Zeb Tahirkheli in their speeches criticised the budget, saying the PTI coalition government had come into power with slogan of change but it had failed in changing the fate of people.
To answer the questions raised by the opposition benches, three provincial ministers including Information Minister Shah Farman, Education Minister Atif Khan and Health Minister Shahram Khan Tarakai termed the criticism of the opposition as unjustified and defended the provincial budget.
Chief Minister Pervez Khattak also remained present in the house and heard the speeches of the opposition legislators with keen interest and took notes of them. Participating in debate, MPA Sikandar Sherpao termed several levies in the finance bill as unconstitutional. The provincial budget contained a huge deficit of Rs 64 billion, which was 15.8 per cent of the total outlay of Rs 404.80 billion, he said.
The lawmaker said that the developmental budget had a shortfall of Rs 12 billion while the government instead of the cap amount of Rs 6 billion in head of net hydel profit had reflected Rs 12 billion in its receipts, which shows another shortfall of Rs 6 billion. Similarly, he said that a deficit of Rs 14 billion was shown in the net capital amount of outgoing year while the calculation of the same with the last year would reach the total deficit to Rs 64 billion.
He said that the PTI government had failed in bringing improvement in governance and even after the passage of the period of one year no change had witnessed in the province. He said that though the government was taking credit of heavy legislations like RTI law, Ehtesab Commission and local government, but none of them were implemented in letter and spirit.
In response to the hard-hitting speech of Sikandar Sherpao, Minister for Information Shah Farman said that all legislations were made in consultations with opposition and delay in their implementation was aimed to guarantee transparency and supremacy of merit. Calling criticism on the performance of the provincial government as totally unjustified, he said they had laid foundation stone for the implementation of the manifesto of PTI.
The vision of the provincial government was clear and tolerance to corruption was zero-rated, he said. Education Minister Mohammad Atif and Shahram Khan Tarakai replied the criticism of Hussain Babak and Aurangzeb Nalotha respectively.