Allies blast govt in NA as opp stays away
09 June, 2012
ISLAMABAD: The PPP allies, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and the Awami National Party (ANP), on Friday criticised the government in the National Assembly for allocating Rs 70 billion for the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) by alleging irregularities in the distribution of funds to the poor.
On the other hand, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) stayed away from the session. PPP MNA Hamid Saeed Kazmi, main accused in the Hajj scandal, tried to stir up the issue involving the chief justice of Pakistan's (CJP) son by calling upon the CJP to step down for an impartial and transparent investigation and trial against his son.
On a point of order, Kazmi said there was no evidence against him in the Hajj corruption case, but he was still imprisoned for the last one and a half year.
"During hearing of the suo motu case, Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry had asked me to relinquish the charge for a free and transparent investigation into the Hajj scandal," he pointed out, adding that same applied to the CJP as his son was implicated in a corruption case.
Taking part in the budget debate, MQM lawmaker Abdul Rashid Godail said that there were irregularities in the BISP, as not a single penny had been distributed in his constituency. He demanded that the government form a parliamentary panel to ensure transparent distribution of aid among the needy people.
He also proposed the removal of petroleum levy to bring down the POL prices, adding that this would not only provide relief to the people but would also generate economic activities in the country.
Godail urged the government to bring the rich strata of the society into the tax net. He suggested that alternative sources of energy, including solar and windmill, should be exploited to cope with the crisis. The issue of circular debt should be resolved immediately to improve the situation, he said further.
ANP legislator Parvez Khan was also critical of the government for allocating Rs 70 billion for the BISP. He demanded that the government review its decision. He felt that the programme was like humiliating the women by forcing them to stand in long queues to receive only Rs 1,000.
"This is not the way to empower the women but there should be some programme to provide jobs, technical and vocational institutions for the women," the ANP lawmaker suggested.
He also criticised 10 percent increase in the defence budget and said that issues with neighbouring countries, including India and Afghanistan, should be resolved through meaningful dialogues and urged for increased allocation for energy sector.
He was also critical of foreign policy towards neighbouring countries, adding, "All our neighbours are unhappy with Pakistan due to failed foreign policy."