Around three dozen MPAs from both sides of the aisle took part in the budget discussion during the ongoing session of the Punjab Assembly on Monday. The members of the assembly seemed least interested in the budget debate as most of them preferred to sit in the lobbies designated for MPAs, since the session remained in progress for almost six hours. During the session,the treasury MPAs criticised the previous regimes for ruining the economy while applauded the PTI government for presenting what they claimed was a remarkable development budget. On the contrary, the opposition MPAs lashed out at the government for destroying the economy of the country including Punjab- that is the largest province. They also said that the government deprived them from development funds and allocated these funds to their opponents in the constituencies. Earlier, the session of Punjab Assembly started after a delay of around one hour from its scheduled time with Chairman Mian Muhanmmad Shafi in the chair. MPA Samiullah of PML-N during his speech said that “They say that Pakistan is destroyed when the growth rate is 5.8 and Pakistan is progressing when growth rate is 1 or 2 percent,” while criticizing the government. He further added that the per capita income was 1600 $ in 2018 and now it is 1200 $. “They say that inflation was on the rise when flour price was 35 rupees per KG and now there is no inflation when its price has reached to 80 rupees,” PML-N MPA said. He kept comparing the prices of essential commodities between the regimes of PML-N and PTI during his speech on budget. He was of the view that not a single brick could be installed in Rawalpindi Ring Road but a huge amount of Rs131 billion was plundered. PPP MPA Mumtaz Ali Chang sat on the floor just in front of the Speaker’s dais in protest as he said that he is not being given the opportunity to speak on the budget. “I am an elected member of this House. Why am I not being allowed to speak here? I requested multiple times yesterday to speak but all in vain,” PPP MPA said. The parliamentary leader of PPP Syed Hassan Murtaza also joined his fellow colleague in front of the Speaker’s dais and then the Chair gave an assurance to him that he can talk today. From the treasury benches, MPAs Asif Majeed , Farhat Masood, Seemabia Tahir, Mahindar Pal Singh, Sardar Shahab ud Din, Sabreena Javed, Wasiq Qayum Abbasi, Shaheena Karim, Sania Kamran, Malik Ahmad Bhachar, Akhtar Malik of PTI, Independent MPAs Ahmad Ali Aulakh and Saeed Akbar Niwani and Shujat Nawaz and Khadija Umar of PML-Q took part in the budget session. Punjab Energy Minister Dr Akhtar Malik said that the government is going to table a bill in the House for the creation of South Punjab province soon. While participating in the budget debate in Punjab Assembly, Akhtar Malik said that the PTI government will fulfill its promise of creation of South Punjab under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar. While criticising the opposition, the minister said that those who announced their withdrawal from the demand of making South Punjab province are now talking about making South Punjab province. He also criticized the PML-N government for launching expensive power projects. From PML-N, MPAs Rana Munawar Ghaus, Manazar Hussain Ranjha, Khalid Iqbal, Moazzam Sher Kallu, Arshad Javaid, Salma Butt, Munneb ul Haq, Zaheer Iqbal, Bilal Yaseen, Saqib Khursheed, Naeem Safdar, Malik Ahmad, Malik Waheed, Malik Sohaib Bharat and Mian Marghob took part in the budget discussion. The session was later adjourned to meet again on Tuesday afternoon.