Taking part in general discussion on the federal budget for FY22 in the National Assembly on Monday, the lawmakers from both treasury and opposition benches traded barbs, accusing each other of being responsible for economic challenges the country is faced with currently. In continuation of the previous day’s debate, Minister for Economic Affairs Omar Ayub Khan said that the government has introduced reforms in almost every sector. He lamented that the previous government ‘completely ruined’ the country economically. He said that the PML-N signed expensive power contracts and the country continues to bear the brunt of it in the form of capacity payments, adding that they abandoned renewable energy projects of four thousand megawatts. “We gave the renewable policy and revived the renewable energy projects to improve their share in the energy mix,” he claimed, adding that it will accrue a benefit of four thousand billion rupees to the country in the next 15 years. In his two-hour-long speech, the minister informed the House that his party government signed a cheaper LNG agreement with Qatar, which will help the country save 3.5 billion dollars in 10 years. “We have made massive investments in the power distribution and transmission system and steps are also being taken to address the issue of circular debt. I am sharing the figures that are based on their economic surveys conducted in their own tenure,” he said, adding that the overall loss of Rs 229 billion had been shifted to the PTI government when it assumed power in 2018. Soon after the federal minister’s speech, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Mian Javed Latif hit back, questioning as to how the country was progressing in the PTI-led government. “Why the results are not visible to poor segments if the figures are genuine,” he asked, adding that all these statistics are eyewash merely to cover their ineligibility and the ‘anti-poor’ budget. While terming the budget 2021-22 people-unfriendly, Latif said that the budget would badly affect already suppressed people by inflation and joblessness. Criticizing the economic indicators shared by the minister in the House, Latif asked if the economic indicators are on a positive trajectory, then why the prices of essential commodities are high and why the lives of the poor are getting difficult day by day. The PML-N lawmaker also recalled some constitutional breaches in the past, saying that those who tried to put the country on the track of development through constitutional means, had paid heavy price. “Zulifqar Ali Bhutto was declared a traitor and hang up for nothing while Nawaz Sharif had been toppled and put behind the bars just for his progressive policies for the country,” he maintained, adding that this is the country where the elected people who raise voice against unconstitutional means are sent to jails and tortured. Participating in the budget debate, former prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf said that efforts should be made to ensure food security saying this is important for the development of the country. He said the budget envisages no incentives for the farmers. He said the proposal of granting arrest powers to the FBR should be withdrawn as it will only pave way for harassment of taxpayers. Minister of State for Climate Change Zartaj Gul said the budget envisages allocation of 260 billion rupees for Ehsaas program which will help extend assistance to the downtrodden segments of the society. Minister for Defense Pervez Khattak said that the government has presented the best budget and the whole country is commending it. He said the budget will bring economic revolution in the country.