ISLAMABAD: Parliamentarians from both sides of the opposition and treasury benches in the National Assembly on Wednesday continued a debate on the federal budget 2021-22, stressing the need for controlling the food inflation and giving more incentives in the agriculture sector. They suggested giving more incentives in import of agri-machinery and equipment, seeds, fertilizers and pesticides for getting better yields of all crops and coping with food inflation for welfare of the common man. Resuming general discussion on the budget, Mehr Ghulam Muhammad Lali of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) asked to ensure a conducive environment in the House, expressing concern over the disturbance witnessed during first three days of the ongoing budget session in the National Assembly. He admitted that all economic indicators were showing significant growth in the national economy but its trickle down impact should be ensured so that the common man could get some relief. He underlined the need for provision of quality seeds, sufficient water supply and solar power facilities to the farming community for further strengthening of the agriculture sector, which was considered the backbone of the national economy. He also suggested giving more tax concessions in import of agriculture related machinery and equipment to transform the agriculture sector on modern lines. Shahid Khaqan Abbasi of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) said lawmakers were supposed to discuss the issues confronted by the masses and find their solutions in the House, and it was responsibility of the Speaker to ensure a smooth conduct of the parliamentary proceedings. He expressed concern over hurling of the budget books by parliamentarians on each other [last week at the start of the budget session], terming it inappropriate and against the parliamentary norms. He was of the view that there should be a meaningful debate on public issues like increased prices of edible items like gas, electricity and petroleum products. Abbasi said 10 percent ad hoc relief in salaries of government employees was insufficient in the prevailing inflation scenario, and criticized the government’s economic and agriculture policies. He claimed that it was the PML-N government that took required measures to meet the country’s energy needs and ended the electricity load-shedding during its last tenure. Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan said it was the opposition that had created a nuisance and showed hooliganism during the first speech of Imran Khan after becoming leader of the House. He reminded that it was the PML-N that had launched an attack on the Supreme Court, adding PML-N’s history was full of such confrontations with the state institutions. The minister said the entire aviation sector in the world faced a financial crisis due to the coronavirus pandemic and they were compelled to lay-off some of their employees and curtail salaries. But in Pakistan, he said, the scenario remained different as no employee was ousted and no curtailment in allowances of aviation sector employees was done despite financial constraints caused by the virus. He said the prudent policies, initiated under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan, had started yielding the required results as all economic indicators were moving in the right direction. Although, he said, the agriculture sector was showing good performance but there was a need for more incentives for further uplift and welfare of the farming community. He expressed confidence that the Rawalpindi Ring road project would start and complete during the tenure of the PTI government. Syed Ghulam Mustafa Shah of Pakistan People’s Party Parliamentarians (PPPP) expressed concern over the food inflation and asked the government to take necessary measures to provide relief to the common man. He asked the government to increase the salaries of government employees as 10 percent ad hoc relief was not sufficient. PTI Chief Whip Malik Muhammad Amir Dogar said all segments of the society had appreciated the pro-poor and growth-oriented budget presented by the government. These were the budgetary proposals prepared by the economic team of the Prime Minister without any influence and pressure by external financial institutions, he said. Khawaja Saad Rafique of PML-N said the government had allocated Rs 12 billion for the agriculture sector terming it ‘inadequate’ and asked for mitigating sufferings of the poor by bringing down the prices of edibles. He said the opposition would not allow mortgaging of any national assets including airports and motorways, saying any such move would be resisted with full force. He said the PML-N would oppose the ousting of the incumbent government through protests or sit-ins as it would set a wrong precedent for the future governments.