ISLAMABAD - The opposition in yesterday’s National Assembly session denounced the federal budget 2016-17 as anti-people, directionless and hopeless, just like the previous budgets of PML-N presented in this tenure.

The government side with the onset of budgetary proceedings faced embarrassment for not maintaining required quorum, which led to suspension of the house for nearly half an hour.

Many of lawmakers from both sides were seemingly not interested to listen to the budget debate, as they were engaged in their own gossips.

Opposition Leader Syed Khursheed Shah opening debate on budgetary proposals came down hard on the government for not fulfilling its previous claims and goals of last three budgets.

“Neelum-Jhelum, Chashma, Dia Mir-Bhasha and other mega projects, which were claims of this government to be formed, have not been fulfilled,” he said.

This government, he claims, due to its ill-planning will not able to overcome issue of loadshedding in the country. “Many of projects might not be completed till 2018, so it is hard to achieve target to get rid of electricity loadshedding,” he argued.

Terming the presented budget mere a jugglery of words, Shah said that the government has failed to improve agriculture industry of the country. “Cotton and other products of the country faced loss due to poor planning of rulers,” he said.

About foreign loans, he strongly criticised the government for multiplying the burden of debt on the country. “Is it fair to do maximum projects and development for some specific areas by ignoring others?” he asked, quoting introduction of Orange Train for some cities in his speech.

The opposition leader, in a tricky way, taunted JUI-F Chief Maulana Fazlur Rahman for recently taking projects for his areas. “With his special spell, he managed to get projects of millions,” he said, talking about recently approved project by Nawaz Sharif in JUI-F’s area.

About foreign loans, he said the government has increased the burden of foreign loans on the country almost every year in its era. “After the burden of 60 percent loans, the government has to take approval from parliament for borrowing more loans; otherwise, it will be a constitutional violation,” he added.

He also offered to stop funding for all PSDP projects and give this money for the construction of Dia Mir Bhasha and Dhasu projects. He further criticised the government for not improving lives of the poor. “Millions of poor people have no medical and others facility,” he said, adding that this government had presented the budget without announcement of the National Finance Commission (NFC) Award, which was against the constitution and it usurped rights of the provinces. “We all need to jointly work for the country, so that Pakistan could get rid of foreign loans and improve life standard of people,” he added.

MQM’s Parliamentary Leader Farooq Sattar, in his incomplete speech, termed the budget anti-poor. “It is nothing but hoodwinking with the people of the country,” he said, giving reference of MQM’s shadow budget. He added that his party has proposed many good initiatives for improving the lives of the poor people.

This budget, he said, would not be able to create any good impact on the people of the country. “Claims of economic stability are false,“ he said indicating millions of non-filers of taxes despite the government’s claims.

He also termed withholding tax as an extra burden over the people of the country. He said that petroleum levy and sales tax need not to be imposed on masses.

About incentives for exporters in the budget, he was of the view that this initiative would also prove fruitful only for some specific privilege class of society. He was of the view that there was a need to empower women, youth and minorities. He would complete his speech today (Tuesday).