GILGIT  - The Gilgit-Baltistan Assembly unanimously approved the budget for financial year 2018-19 with a total outlay of over Rs 63 billion.

Lawmaker of PPP Imran Nadeem and lawmaker of Islami Tehreek Pakistan Sikandar Ali also supported the budget.

The joint Opposition members did not attend the budget session as they had announced to challenge the same in the GB Chief Court.

PPP leader Imran Nadeem said that the GB Chief Minister was like his younger brother, adding, that they had been jointly working for peace since 2004.

He said that he had not received any personal benefits from the Chief Minister.

People, however, allege that Imran Nadeen had joined the Treasury Benches after getting benefits from the government.

Imran Nadeem while refuting the allegations said that he was supporting the government for the purpose of peace in the region only, adding, that nobody should wonder over his support for the government’s good steps.

Opposition lawmaker of Islami Tehreek Pakistan Sikander Ali said that his party was surprised to see the progress of GB government and the Government of GB Order 2018, but we have to struggle for more Constitutional rights, he said, adding, that the current set up was better but not enough.

He said that he was also surprised by the huge outlay of the GB budget, which he said was unprecedented.

He said that the government should, however, monitor as to where the huge funds would go so that to control misuse of the public money.

He said that the population and area of his constituency was more than any other constituency but the government had ignored his constituency in development budget.

He requested the Chief Minister to establish 50-bed hospital and college in his constituency.

Minister for Works Dr Iqbal said that all the Federal government-funded projects had been converged in the constituencies of the Chief Minister and Deputy Speaker, as no single project was given for the GBLA-3.

He said that people elected him and he was part of the government, adding, that the people of GBLA-3 Dinyor Gilgit were facing lack of basic facilities including those of health and education.

He alleged that people associated with religious organisations had threatened him, adding, that he still was of the view that people should not follow the politics of religious organisations including those who are chanting slogans against the State on the roads.

Speaking during the budget session, Chief Minister Gilgit-Baltistan Hafeez-ur-Rehman said that the 4-member so-called joint Opposition in the GB Assembly was upset after seeing development in the region.

The Chief Minister claimed that budget for financial year 2018-19 was formulated keeping in view need and merit in distribution of funds.

He said that the budget of GB was a model of other areas, adding, that the government had tried to address the issues of poor masses in the budget.

Hafeez said that stipends would be given to the disabled persons so that they are able to run their lives.

The stipends would be dispatched at the doorstep of the disabled people, he said.

He said that the GB government would also collect data of the disabled persons for the first time in the history of the region.

The Chief Minister said that the Federal government had sanctioned projects worth Rs 300 billion for the region including Gilgit-Skardu Road, Gilgit-Naltar Expressway, cardiac hospital, GB University, GB Women University and other projects.

He said that the government would establish mobile hospital service in every district of the region to provide the best healthcare facilities to the people.