Resuming debate on provincial budget 2014-15, the lawmakers in the Balochistan Assembly on Monday expressed a mixed reaction.
Speaking at the occasion, Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid’s (PML-Q) Mir Abdul Karim Nosherwani said it was a balanced budget given the current circumstances. He stressed upon the government to release the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) funds to the opposition.
“In the previous year, welfare works were done on a large scale and the law and order improved considerably,” he said, adding that Frontier Corps (FC) had rendered enormous sacrifices for the maintenance of law and order and the law enforcement agencies – police, FC and Levies – should be given more funds.
Nosherwani said the coalition partners should not interfere in each other’s constituencies.
He said the long hours of load-shedding had embittered lives of the people in his constituency, Kharan, where people were also suffering a water shortage, adding that the people who talked of independence were the people frustrated by poverty and unemployment.
“The government must provide employment to the youth if it wants to quell this wave of insurgency,” he added.
Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F)’s Gul Muhammad Dummar said opposition had not been treated with justice and was being compelled to knock the doors of courts and stage sit-ins.
He said the situation of health and education had deteriorated instead of improving and schools and hospitals were suffering from acute shortage of facilities.
“As regards law and order, the people are being looted in broad daylight,” Dummar said, adding that high inflation had embittered the lives of the people.
Minister for Health Rehmat Baloch said the 2014-15 budget was in accordance with the peoples’ expectations and it was the first occasion when funds were distributed sector-wise.
“In the past many people had considered the development budget as their pocket money and many MPAs became billionaires while schools and hospitals remained in a shambles,” he said.
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)’s Raheela Durrani said the budget was a balanced one and there was nothing to criticise about. “However, women are not given due priority in it,” she added.
“All the funds kept for women in the PSDP should be spent by taking the women members of the assembly into confidence,” she added.
Durrani said complaint centres and markets should be established for women and the services of women lawyers should be hired in this regard.