AJK govt terms budget pro-people
MUZAFFARABAD: Main opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) on Monday lambasted the AJK government for its alleged failure to secure sizeable funds and other legitimate rights from Islamabad as the Legislative Assembly started debate on next fiscal year’s budget.
However, rejecting the allegations and assertions of the opposition, ruling Peoples Party (PPAJK) members eulogised their government for presenting the best pro-people budget in the wake of huge deficit inherited from the previous regime.
The debate on budget was initiated by deputy leader of the opposition and PML-N AJK chapter’s senior vice president
Chaudhry Tariq Farooq.
Mr Farooq pointed out that budget deficit was on the rise and the government had obtained an overdraft of around Rs6 billion against its limit of Rs2.5 billion and paid Rs190 million as service charges.
He wondered that the bailout package which the AJK rulers had been claiming a day in and a day out they would get from their parent party’s government Islamabad was nowhere in the budget.
Pointing out that the current year’s allocations for foreign tours, contingency, secret fund and other heads had been exorbitantly revised, he asked the government to observe and enforce austerity in the best interest of the people.
Mr Farooq pointed out the Intra-Kashmir Trade and Travel Authority (TATA) was not accountable to any government department, as the budget books did not reflect its income and expenditures.
“AJK is not a green pasture where imported people are given jobs after retirement against hefty packages. We cannot afford such extravagancies,” he said.
Terming the AJK Council as a “white elephant” which ate up AJK’s resources, the PML-N leader stressed that it was high time the Legislative Assembly made everyone realised of its worth and utility and redefined AJK’s interim constitution to make the government and the people of AJK masterful.
He also criticised meagre allocations for resolution of the issues of affectees of Mangla Dam extension project as well as the October 2005 earthquake Minister for food Javed Iqbal Bhudhanvi said the opposition was criticising for the sake of criticism but the common man was happy with the budget.
In the evening session, Syed Shoukat Ali Shah and Mohammad Hussain Sargala of PML-N also made hard-hitting speeches,
alleging that the government had failed to offer anything to the Pakistan-based Kashmiri refugees.
Ms Mehrun Nisa of Muslim Conference, which is still undecided about its role in the Assembly, read out a written speech, half of which was in appreciation of the budget.