LAHORE - Opposition parties including Pakistan People’s Party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf, PML-Q, Jamaat-e-Islami and Pakistan Awami Tehreek have termed Punjab budget disappointing.

The leaders of the opposition parties in separate statements issued on Friday said Shehbaz Sharif government once again proved it had no interest in welfare of the poor.

PPP Punjab president Qamar Zaman Kaira said the last budget of PML-N’s Punjab government was totally a disappointment for common citizen. He said fixing Rs15,000 monthly wage for a labourer was a joke for the person who works more than 12-hour and hit by worst inflation which government failed to controlled. He said the government put on priority those sectors in budget where it had its own interests.

PML-Q senior leader Chaudhary Parvez Elahi said that minimum of Rs 100 billion had been misappropriated in only last three years in the development projects of Punjab. In a press talk, he threw a challenge to Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif to come on any forum and proved the assertion wrong. He said Sharif had destroyed every sector of the province which during PML-Q’s tenure was prosperous. He said: “We are presenting proofs about corruption and irregularities in every project of PML-N government including jangla bus (metro bus) and orange line projects.” The former chief minister of Punjab went on saying that PML-N as a political party had turned into a land mafia and it occupied land worth Rs 28 billion alone in Lahore Division. He said Shehbaz Sharif increased loans of Punjab to Rs 712 billion which were only Rs 267 billion during his tenure. Replying to a question, he said for Shehbaz Sharif saving was what went into his (Shehbaz Sharif) pocket.

He said in 2007, during last budget of PML-Q government in Punjab, the allocation of education sector was 11. 46 per cent of total budget which was Rs 45.12 billion whereas, he added, current year education budget was less than half as compared to his tenure. The government spending of Rs4.88 billion in construction of Daanish Schools, he said, was declared illegal in Auditor General report. The record  of Rs one billion was not found in construction of metro bus, he claimed quoting auditor’s report. The government paid useless subsidy of Rs10.30 billion to metro buses in last four year, he said.

“Shehbaz Sharif claims orange line is investment of China but I am showing you (media persons) a document of the federal government which states Punjab government secured load for the project from China. We are under debt of Rs128 billion in this project.” PAT’s Punjab chapter president Basharat Jaspal said Shehbaz Sharif’s government successive 10th budget was nothing but a story of fudged figures. He mocked that only contractors of mega projects like Orange Line Train and others would get benefit from the budget as the layman saw no relief in it.

He said that mighty increase in personal non-development expenditures of Punjab Chief Minister had exposed the hollow claim’s of so-called Khadam-e-Aaala’s simplicity. He said people of South Punjab were deprived of basic facilities of education, health and clean water even in during 10th year of PML-N rule over Punjab.

PTI leader Chaudhary Sarwar and Jamaat-e-Islami Punjab chapter president Dr Waseem Akhtar, in their separate statements, also termed the budget a jugglery with words. Opposition leader in Punjab Assembly Mian Mahmood-ur-Rasheed would issue his detail statement on the Punjab after analysis.