Sindh budget passed unanimously as govt accepts opposition’s demands

* New taxes on schools and hospitals, stamp duty on 120-yard plots withdrawn

KARACHI: The Sindh Assembly passed the provincial budget unanimously after the government accepted the demands of opposition and withdrew new taxes on schools and hospitals, as well as, stamp duty on 120-yard plots. Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, who also has the Finance Department portfolio, presented the finance bill and introduced amendments. The CM introduced amendments in clause 2, 3 and 4 of the finance bill, which were passed unanimously. Earlier, MQM MPAs Syed Sardar Ahmed and Muhammad Hussain withdrew their amendments.There were a lot of cut motions, but they all were opposed by Dr Sikandar Mandhro, minister for parliamentary affairs, and the House rejected them. The Cut Motions on Demands for Grants for Supplementary Expenditure 2013-14, included 12 cut motions by Muhammad Shahryar Khan Mahar (PML-F), eight by Nand Kumar (PML-F), nine by Irfanullah Khan Marwat (PML-N) and five by Nusrat Bano Seher Abbasi (PML-F).The Cut Motions on Demands for Grants for the Financial Year 2014-15 included 22 cut motions by Muhammad Shahryar Khan Mahar (PML-F), 22 by Nand Kumar (PML-F), eight by Irfanullah Khan Marwat (PML-N), 12 by Nusrat Bano Seher Abbasi (PML-F), eight by Dr Seemi Zia (PTI), 10 by Syed Hafeezuddin (PTI), eight by Muhammad Rafique Bhanbhan  (PML-F), and five by Jam Madad Ali (PML-F).Jam Madad Ali of PML-F and Irfanullah Khan Marwat of PML-N were not present. The government and opposition had agreed that if any member had more than one cut motion on a demand, he would only discuss one cut motion. However, Syed Hafeezuddin of PTI insisted that he would talk on his each and every cut motion. He was allowed by the speaker to take all his cut motions. However, no cut motion of the opposition was accepted by the government, as Parliamentary Affairs Minister Dr Sikandar Mandhro opposed them and House rejected all the cut motions.After passing the budget leader of the house Syed Qaim Ali Shah, leader of the opposition Muhammad Shahryar Khan Mahar, provincial minister Dr Sikandar Mandhro, and MQM MPA Khawaja Izharul Hassan made speeches and congratulated the House on passing the budget unanimously.The CM in his speech said they had talked with the opposition and accepted their just demands about new taxes and these taxes were withdrawn by the government through amendments. Earlier, the question hour was differed to give more time to budget proceedings. The speaker read out the order of Sindh governor to prorogue the House on completion of its business.

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