The National Assembly resumed its session at the Parliament House in Islamabad today (Monday) with Deputy Speaker Syed Ghulam Mustafa Shah in the chair.

The House is continuing discussion on the budget for the next fiscal year.

Participating in the discussion, Shahida Rehmani said the budget envisages no measures for women empowerment.

Mir Ghulam Ali Talpur said agriculture is greatly supporting the economic growth rate. He opposed the imposition of taxes on agriculture inputs including tractors, fertilizers and pesticides.

Muhammad Iqbal Khan said the true potential of blue economy should be explored to take the country forward. He emphasized that the fishermen should be equipped with the latest tools and equipment as well as training.

Sheikh Aftab Ahmed said government will get the budget passed with consensus.  He said the PML-N has rendered sacrifices for democracy.  He called for collective efforts to steer the country in the right direction.

Muhammad Usman Badini said the resolution of the country’s problems lies in abolishing the interest based financial system. He said special efforts should be made for the development of Balochistan province.

Abdul Qadir Gillani demanded the creation of South Punjab. He said South Punjab should be given its share in development.

Sehar Kamran was of the view that the revenue collection target set in the budget for the next fiscal year is not realistic.

Waqas Akram criticized the taxation measures in the budget. He also regretted the mob lynching incident in Swat.

Ghulam Muhammad proposed the establishment of a fund within the National Assembly for provision of humanitarian aid to the Palestinian people.

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Ibrar Ahmed said despite difficult economic situation, the government has presented a people-friendly budget. He said salaries of employees and the pensions have been increased.

Sadiq Ali Memon appreciated the increase in the budget of Benazir Income Support Program.

Rana Ansar said steps should be taken to bring down the prices of electricity.

Atif Khan said industries should be promoted in order to enhance the country’s exports.

Maulana Misbah-ud-Din said development of the tribal districts should be prioritized.

Shabbir Ali Bijrani welcomed the increase in the defense budget. He, however, said that ample resources should also be allocated for the uplift of health and education sectors.

Asad Niazi said the leadership of PPP has always rendered sacrifices for democracy.

Gul Asghar Khan said the government has presented a balanced budget by taxing the elite and luxury items, while on the other hand, the salaried class was given relief by enhancing their income. He stressed the need for signing a charter of economy to put the country on the path of economic development. He also proposed to expedite the privatization of loss-making entities.

Syed Ali Musa Gilani called for fully implementing the minorities’ quota.

Shagufta Jumani suggested that tax on powdered milk should be revoked.

Sher Ali Arbab urged all the politicians to sit together on a common agenda of steering the country out of crises.

Aijaz Hussain Jakhrani said dialogue among political forces is the only way forward to bring political stability to the country. He said the culture of using derogatory language against political rivals should be ended. He said PPP always talks of democracy and its leadership has rendered supreme sacrifices for this cause.

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Talking about the budget, Aijaz Hussain Jakhrani suggested withdrawing tax on agri inputs.