Sindh passes budget after opp walkout
By Hasan Mansoor
KARACHI: Sindh Assembly Wednesday passed the budget for 2003-04 and the supplementary budget for 2002-03 in the absence of the opposition.
When the proceedings resumed after the afternoon break, the PPP’s Asif Ali Shah rose on a point of order and contradicted the statement of local government minister Mohammad Hussain, in which he had said that no FIR had been registered against any provincial assembly member.
He said he himself was a victim of political victimization. A false case of kidnapping had been registered against him and he had to suffer detention until the court granted him bail, he said. He quoted senior minister Syed Sardar Ahmed, who admitted the PPP MPA had been subjected to unrestrained behaviour.
Speaker Muzaffar Hussain Shah asked the finance minister to submit the demands for grants for 2002-03, at which the opposition members loudly chanted “The fake budget is unacceptable,” and staged another walkout.
Later, finance minister Sardar Ahmed sought the chair’s permission to submit all the 53 demands for grants simultaneously because there was no cut motion filed against any of those demands. After getting the speaker’s permission, he submitted all the demands together, which the house approved unanimously.
After that the finance minister submitted 59 demands for grants for the next fiscal (2003-04) at once as none of those grants was filed with any cut motion. The house also authenticated these demands.
Mr Ahmed later moved the finance bill 2003 before the house. The house did not oppose any of the three readings of the bill submitted by the finance minister and later passed it unanimously with a single amendment. According to the amendment, residential structures of not more than 12 square yards were granted exemption from property tax.
Earlier, the PPP’s Syed Qaim Ali Shah submitted arguments on the maintainability of his privilege motion against the controversial remarks passed by the revenue minister Altaf Hussain Unnar against the provincial and the central leaderships of the PPP.