KP budget next month as PTI govt ignores leadership`s decision
PESHAWAR: Bypassing the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Central Executive Committee`s decision, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government on Tuesday reversed its earlier stand and decided to present the annual budget for the financial year 2018-19 on May 14.
The chief minister`s spokesman, Shaukat Ali Yousafzai, said the government wanted to respect a desire of the opposition parties to announce the budget.
He said CM Pervez Khattak had tasked Speaker of the provincial assembly Asad Qaisar to prepare a strategy with the opposition for the budget`s presentation.Mr Yousafzai said the government would present the budget on May 14.
`The government does not have the majority in the house to pass the budget after the expulsion of 20 lawmakers of the party on the charge of selling votes in the Senate elections. In fact, the opposition is asking the government to present the budget,` said Mr Yousafzai while defending the government`s summersault on the budget presentation.
Opposition leader Maulana Lutfur Rehman denied the CM spokesman`s version and said the opposition parties had never pushed the government for announcing the budget.
`The chief minister has sought the opposition`s cooperation for the budget. It depends on the government what type of budget is presented. If it is the peoplefriendly, the opposition will support it otherwise not,` he said.
Mr Rehman said the opposition would not support a budgetforthe sake ofthe PTL He said after taking action against 20lawmakers, the PTI was ready to quit the government.
The opposition leader said the chief minister was just fulfilling a desire of the opposition to present the budget.
The current strength of the PTI in the assembly is 45, while the JI has eight MPAs.
Without the support of the opposition parties, the government is unable to pass the budget.
The PTPs CEC had stopped the KP government from presenting the budget.
The CEC in its meeting on April 12 had decided that the KP government would not present the budget for the next financial year due to the position the party had taken against the PML-N governments in the centre and Punjab that an outgoing government had no mandate to do so.
`We have passed a resolution (in the meeting) that a government which has only 45 days in office has no mandate to present a budget for the whole year. We will oppose it. We have decided that (Chief Minister) Pervez Khattak will not present the budgetin KP as we don`t have a mandate to do so, the media quoted PTI chief Imran Khan as saying after the CEC meeting.
Chief Minister Pervez Khattak had also reiterated on many occasions that his government would not present the budget and the Constitution authorised the caretaker government to allocate expenditure for four months. The finance and other departments had abandoned preparations for new budget in the wake of the ruling party`s decision.
Sources said the coalition government took the decisiontopresentthebudgetafter a meeting between Chief Minister Pervez Khattak and finance minister Muzafar Said, who belongs to the Jamaat-i-Islami.
The meeting between the chief minister and his finance minister held on Monday.
JI provincial spokesman Syed Jamaat Ali Shah told Dawn that his party was not in favour of skipping the budget.
The sources claimed that the JI was not happy with the PTPs decision to leave the presentation of the budget for the next elected government.