Increase font size Decrease font size Reset font size

Budget session adjourned over lack of quorum

By Mohammad Ashfaq 2016-06-19
PESHAWAR: The budget session of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly was adjourned on Saturday over a lack of quorum.

Many feel the government got the sitting put off until next Tuesday to prevent some treasury members` criticism of the `unjust` distribution of development funds in the budget 2016-17.

The government had suffered embarrassment in the house on Friday when some lawmakers of the ruling PTI, including a cabinet member, complained about discrimination in the next fiscal`s budget, insisting the budgetary allocations were limited to constituencies of the chief minister, few ministers and speaker of the assembly.

Also, four members had staged a walkout over denial of time to speak about the `discriminatory budget.

Ahead of the session, the people felt the opposition and some treasury members would give the government a tough time over the`unjus t` distribution of development funds in the next fiscal.

However, Speaker Asad Qaisar averted the possible rumpus by adjourning the session within six minutes of its start over a lack of quorum.

Sardar Idrees of the PTI pointed out lack of quorum in the house prompting the chair to order first the ringing of bells for four minutes and then a headcount of all those in attendance.

As the quorum was lacking, the chair ordered the session`s adjournment until Tuesday.

At the outset of the sitting, 23 members were present in the house.

Under the rules, presence of at least 31 lawmakers was mandatory to meet the quorum.

`I have studied all ADP documents and found many claims made in the budget speech to be incorrect,` one of the JI lawmakers told Dawn.

A PTI lawmal(er said he along with many party members was determined to criticise own government over budgetary injustices.

`I think the speaker will not give us time to vent anger,` he said.

The lawmaker however said if the time was not given to them in the next session, then the government would struggle to get the budget passed in the house.

`We`ll try to bring the maximumpossible cut motions on the budget allocated for each department,` he said.

Meanwhile, the ruling PTI has accelerated efforts to pacify its angry MPAs.

Some lawmakers have visited the houses of their disgruntled colleagues in a bid to stop them from speaking against the government in the hose.

Meanwhile, the opposition parties criticised the provincial government for intentionally adjourning the session to escape the criticism of treasury members.

Addressing a news conference in his chamber, leader of the opposition in the assembly Maulana Lutfur Rehman said the treasury benches` attitude towards the budget session was irresponsible.

`For the first time in history, a budget session didn`t take place due to a lacl< of quorum,` he said.

ANP parliamentary leader Sardar Hussain Babak, Sardar Aurangzeb Nalotha of the PML-N and Fakhar Azam of the PPP were also present on the occasion.

The opposition leader said he didn`t understand why the provincial government was sabotaging the budget session.

Sardar Babak alleged that a group of lawmakers were emerging against the Chief Minister Pervez Khattak with the support of sometop PTI leaders. `Difference are now more visible in the ruling PTI as its lawmakers have been speaking against the discriminatory attitude of the chief minister and some influential ministers,` he said.

The ANP leader said the provincial government would suffer a lot due to the growing differences in its ranks.

`The passage of the budget 201617 by the assembly will be a miracle for the government,` he said.

SardarBabak said the opposition parties were contemplating to challenge the budget 2016-17 in the Peshawar High Court as under it, the province`s entire resources would be utilised in five constituencies only.

Sardar Aurangzeb said like opposition, the treasury benches had also reservation on the allocation of development budget.

He demanded that the government distribute resources across the province on need basis.

`It`s the poor planning of the government that it didn`t achieve most ofits revenue targets in the outgoing fiscal year,` he said.

Fakhar Azam of the PPP said PTI chief Imran Khan had announced in a public rally in Bannu that 100 kilometers road and a hospital would be built but both projects were not mentioned in the budget for the upcoming fiscal year.