The first phase of passing the Punjab budget was completed on Thursday as demands for grants worth more than Rs. 2,528 billion were passed in the Punjab Assembly as the government rejected the cut-motions moved by the opposition benches. While expressing the views on the cut motion, the opposition termed the budget as anti people. PML-N MPA Rana Mashhood termed the budget as against the people of Punjab, while highlighting that practically the allocation of the education budget is decreased due to inflation. Speaking on the cut-motion of education, former minister for Education Rana Mashhood criticized the PTI government for reducing the education budget of Punjab. he also criticised the government for changing around a dozen secretaries of the Higher Education Department. “We recruited 0.2 million teachers through the transparent system of NTS and allocated over 34 billion for education,” said Mashhood, while praising the budget presented by his previous government. He further added that former Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif brought 0.6 million girls to schools as their parents couldn’t afford their education due to poverty. While defending the government’s policies, Schools Education Minister Punjab Dr Murad Raas said that the present government had introduced an e- transfer and online posting system for teachers. The government has allocated Rs 19 billion for Punjab Education Foundation. The minister also criticized the PML-N for not doing anything during their ten years tenure in the province. Earlier, during the session, Speaker Punjab Assembly showed his displeasure over the absence of both the Minister and Secretary Higher Education Department from the House. He asked the Secretary Assembly to find out where the Minister and Secretary HED are right now. Later, HED Minister Raja Yasir Humayun came into the House and tendered an apology to the Speaker while saying that he was with the Chief Minister. The Minister himself was unaware about the whereabouts of his Secretary HED that further annoyed the Speaker Elahi. He directed an inquiry as to why Secretary HED is not here. The session of Punjab Assembly started after a delay of more than two hours from its scheduled time with Speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi in the chair. Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar also came to the Punjab Assembly on Thursday. The opposition lawmakers moved to cut motions on education, health, agriculture and police departments. The House passed four demands on grants after the discussion while the rest were passed by implementing gluten. After the passage of the finance bill on Friday (today), the process of passing the budget will be completed. Meanwhile, Chief Minister Sardar Usman Bazdar and Speaker Punjab Assembly Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi held an important meeting in the chamber of Punjab Law Minister Raja Basharat. On this occasion, the proceedings of the budget session were reviewed and a strategy was worked out for the approval of the budget that is due on Friday (today). The Chief Minister and the Speaker appreciated the efforts of Raja Basharat in enacting record legislation in the present era and hoped that more principal legislation would be enacted in the coming years in the large interest of the people of the province. Raja Basharat informed the Chief Minister that research cells were being set up in the Punjab Assembly and the Law and Parliamentary Affairs Department to streamline the legislative process and provide guidance to the members of the Assembly in this regard. The session will resume Today in the afternoon for the passage of the finance bill.