NA echoes with calls for more funds to fight Covid-19
Launching the budget debate, senior PPP leader and former prime minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf blasted the government for not increasing the salaries and pensions of the government employees in the federal budget and sparing too little for the efforts to deal with coronavirus.
Raja Ashraf said at the moment unity and consensus were required in the ranks of all political parties to fight the deadly virus which had been imperilling the whole world including Pakistan.
He was of the view that being the chief executive it was the responsibility of the prime minister to invite all the political parties for devising comprehensive planning to defeat the pandemic.
Referring to Imran Khan’s visit to Sindh, the PPP leader regretted that the prime minister visited the province three months after the spread of Covid-19 but did not bother to meet the Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah.
He asked the government to bring back Pakistanis stranded in various parts of the world on its own expense and by hiring chartered aircraft. He said the government had abandoned the people of Pakistan who were facing the pandemic on their own.
Referring to Imran Khan’s statement regarding the need for reviewing the 18th Amendment, he warned against any such move, stating that it would become difficult to run a federation then.
He urged the government to try to unite the nation and not to divide it further with divisive statements.
He criticized the government for not taking timely action to stop locust attacks despite timely warnings last year. He said that the government had not taken measures to construct five million houses as announced by Prime Minister Imran Khan.
The PPP leader asked the government to set up a university in his area of Gujar Khan as land for this purpose had been given by the locals. He asked the government to increase the salaries of the public sector employees.
Defending the PM, PTI lawmaker Amjad Ali Khan said best pro-people budget had been announced by the government.
He said that when PTI took over the charge of the government all the state institutions including Pakistan Steel Mills, Pakistan International Airlines and Pakistan Railways were running in losses and the economy was in a bad shape.
Amjad said that all the opposition parties got united against Imran Khan as PTI chief was against corruption and mafias. He alleged that Nawaz Sharif during his visit to India had refused to meet with the leadership of Kashmir.
He said that Imran Khan had effectively projected the Kashmir issue at all the international forums. He asked Nawaz Sharif to come back to Pakistan and face cases against him.
He said PML-N and PPP had signed Charter of Democracy (CoD) to hide each other's corruption.
The PTI leader said economic zones should be established in his constituency of Mianwali and adjoining areas under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
PML-N leader Riaz Hussain Pirzada while participating in the budget debate, said that nothing significant had been announced for the agriculture sector. He said during the tenure of PML-N government land was acquired for the construction of mega dam projects.
The house will now meet on Monday at 12 noon.