Parliamentarians from both opposition and treasury benches in the National Assembly on Saturday continued debate on the federal budget for fiscal year 2021-22. The treasury benches lauded the government for presenting a people-friendly budget with no new tax while the opposition members criticized that no relief was given to the masses in the budget. Resuming budget debate, Abdul Qadir Patel of Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarian (PPPP) said the government set unrealistic revenue collection target which could not be achieved. He claimed that the government could not achieve any single target set for the current fiscal year. He alleged that excessive borrowing was done with no visible development programme. Abdul Qadir said prices of essential items witnessed a 30 per cent increase during the last three years while the people’s income remained the same. He said Benazir Income Support Programme was set up through an act of parliament and it could not be packed up without the parliament nod. Niaz Ahmed Jakhar of Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf (PTI) while taking part in the budget debate, said criticism should not be for sake of criticism rather it should be constructive. Contrary to the opposition claims, he said no new tax was imposed in the budget and very soon people would see its fruits. He said the government has presented a welfare oriented budget despite the challenge of COVID-19. He said the PTI led government has put the country on the road of progress and prosperity. All the socio indicators also reflected that the country was making progress, he added. He said interest free loans were announced for the business and farmers in the budget. People could get upto Rs 0.5 million interest free loan for business and Rs 2,50,000 for agriculture, he added. He said the PTI government introduced health cards for all people irrespective of caste, creed and affiliation. He also expressed the hope that the dream of South Punjab province would materialize as a separate secretariat has already been inaugurated. Taking part in the debate, Khurram Dastagir of Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) said fudge figures were given in the budget. He said an unrealistic revenue collection target was fixed for the next year which could not be achieved. He said political leaders including Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Syed Khursheed Shah and Ali Wazir were in jails but their production orders were not issued. He urged the chair to issue production orders of detained members so they could represent their constituencies. He said despite bumper crops, prices of flour and sugar remained high. He went on to say that the power theft has increased while recoveries have decreased due to in-efficiency of the government. Shehryar Afridi of PTI said the whole world appreciated the steps taken by Pakistan during COVID-19. He said the government under the leadership of the Prime Minister laid the foundation of the Welfare state on the pattern of Riyasat e Madina. He said keeping in view the Ehsaas programme of the government, even the UNHCR-UN Refugee Agency gave financial packages to the Afghan refugees. The PM has successfully raised Palestine, Kashmir and Islamophobia issues at all international fora, he added. Coming hard on the past PML-N government, he said that the then interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan had conceded the presence of black water in the capital. The PML-N government not only provided bases to the USA for carrying out drone attacks but also received hefty funds under head of collateral damage, he added. He said thousands of Computerized National Identity Cards of Pashtoons were blocked during the PML-N regime. He said the government allocated a huge amount of Rs 260 billion for the uplift and welfare of the poor segment of the society in the budget. He said the government inherited a huge current account deficit of US $ 19.8 billion which was now in surplus. The country’s exports witnessed an unprecedented surge and stood at US $ over 25 billion owing to the prudent policies of the government, he added. Shehryar said those industrialists who had left the country during the PML-N regime were now coming back and again setting up their industries in Pakistan. The per capita income has jumped to US $ 1500 from US $ 1300, he said. He said global perception about Pakistan has totally been changed and now Pakistan was leading owing to the policies introduced by the government. Regarding National Accountability Bureau cases, Afridi said these cases were registered by PML-N and PPP against the leadership of each other. He urged the fugitive leaders to come back to the country and face their cases in courts of law. He also urged the opposition to come to parliament and support the government in bringing reforms in the criminal and judicial system. Independent MNA from North Waziristan, Mohsin Dawar underlined the need for issuing production orders of all those parliamentarians who were in jail so that they could participate in the federal budget debate and represent their constituencies. He said the government should further increase the minimum wage of laborers that had been fixed at Rs 20,000 per month declaring it “insufficient,” and asked for true implementation on it (minimum wage). He was of the view that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province was not getting its due share of net hydel profit as per the AGN Kazi committee formula, asking the federal government to ensure early payment of overdue amount. Raja Khurram Nawaz of PTI congratulated Prime Minister Imran Khan and its economic team for presenting such a relief-oriented budget despite financial constraints caused by the coronavirus pandemic. He said the PM had highlighted the Kashmir issue at all every fora in an effective manner that was not only being acknowledged by the oppressed people of Illegal Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir but the whole world. He expressed confidence that the country would progress under the wise leadership of PM Imran Khan. He said before the PTI government after coming into power improved the conditions of hospitals and basic health units of Islamabad, which were accommodating patients from adjoining localities including Azad Jammu and Kashmir. Nawabzada Iftikhar Ahmed of PPP did not agree with the figure of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rate achieved during the current fiscal year, and said the inflation had increased that caused difficulties for the common man. He asked the government to set up a university in district Muzaffargarh as the area was missing the facility and students were in its dire need. He also highlighted the civic issues, including scarcity of water, being confronted by people of his constituency.