It was seen in the Punjab Assembly on Monday that three major political parties of the province remained busy in lauding the development projects of their own governments while criticizing each other. It was the pre-budget discussion- a mandatory rule of the Punjab Assembly since 2010 on the agenda item for Monday but three major political parties of the House were seen criticizing each other instead of giving fruitful suggestions for the upcoming budget for the fiscal year 2019-2020. According to the details, leader of the opposition Hamza Shehbaz of PML-N criticized the policies of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf while the finance minister Makhdoom Hashim Jawan Bakht of PTI put the onus of failure on PML-N while saying that the last government ruined the largest province of the country through its poor policies. Speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, who is the custodian of the House, also started lauding the projects initiated in 2002-2007, the time when he was Chief Minister of the province.In his pre-budget speech, Finance Minister Makhdum Hashim Jawan Bakht assured the House to focus the under developed areas of the province as well as to introduce a budget based on regional equalization. “We could not allocate much amount for the development projects last year due to the wrong polices of the previous government as the kitty of Punjab was empty and therefore we introduced a corrective budget last time,” said the finance minister and added that the upcoming budget will be a development one. This time the PTI’s government will focus on under developed areas and everyone will see moving the institutions towards progress, he said. He also criticized the PMLN challenging all members sitting in the House to explain “the financial model” of Orange Line Project initiated by the PML-N. “It is very irrational to construct a track of just 27 KM with a huge amount of 250 billion in the case of Orange Train,” said the minister.Opposition leader Mian Hamza Shehbaz Sharif applauding its government’s previous projects said their projects were pro-people but the PTI government doesn’t want to take them towards their completion. “We completed three Metro Train Projects with an amount of Rs.100 billion but the incompetent government of PTI has spent more than Rs.100 billion on a single project in Peshawar,” said Hamza and added that the PTI government has ruined health, education, and other institutions. He was of the view that PTI spent only Rs.88 billion of its annual development budget while PMLN had spent Rs.255 billion in same spell during first seven months. He also appealed not to politicize the critical health condition of former three-time Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Speaker Elahi said that PML-N’s government didn’t continue the projects initiated by the PML-Q’s government headed by Elahi himself in 2002. “We started surgical tower at Mayo Hospital, Wazirabad Institute of Cardiology and new building of Punjab Assembly but all the projects were put on a hold when next government came in,” said Elahi, while lauding his projects.Later, the opposition-led by PML-N protested in the House as they said that the finance minister has violated the tradition of Punjab Assembly by wrapping up his speech in the same day. Heated arguments were exchanged between PML-N’s Waris Kallu and treasury benches and the session was adjourned to meet again on Tuesday morning.Published in Daily Times, March 12th 2019.