ISLAMABAD - Approving 124 supplementary demands for grants and appropriation amounting to Rs121 billion, the National Assembly’s budget session Wednesday ended with hullaballoo, exchange of heated remarks and customary boycott of opposition.

The combined opposition, before observing boycott, in a novel way of protest silently sat around the speaker’s podium for a few minutes but a PTI MNA Hamid-ul-Haq behaved a bit violently by ripping off his shirt in front of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar.

However, Khursheed Shah rushed to stop him and left the house with other opposition parties’ members in protest. The opposition also staged a protest outside the parliament house’s gate. They were also holding placards inscribed with slogans like ‘anti-people budget’. Some lawmakers, including, PPP’s MNA Shazia Marri, PTI’s Hamidul Haq, were seen wearing garlands of fruits, vegetables and milk.

Inside the house, the ruckus started when PTI Deputy Parliamentary Leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi was interrupted during his speech by Abid Sher Ali and Mian Abdul Manan with their teasing remarks.

Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar, concluding the debate on supplementary grants, once again urged all the political parties to sit together to formulate a national economy agenda. “This effort will surely help the people of Pakistan if consensus develops on it,” he said.

Minister, in absence of opposition, said the future of Pakistan is bright as international financial institutions are also admiring economic indicators of the country. “Pakistan has achieved economic stability because of prudent economic policies of incumbent government,” he said, praying this process of success would further continue in coming days.

“We are thankful to Allah Almighty for granting us opportunity to present the 5th budget,” he said, lauding all the lawmakers for their contribution in the budget.

Dar announced honoraria equal to four months basic pay for employees of Senate and National Assembly as well as the staff of all the organisations deployed for the budget session. The minister said that all the complaints regarding non-payment of honoraria will be addressed. He said the overall impact of the honoraria will be equivalent to five basic pays as it will be given in accordance with the new pay scales.

About non-payment of honoraria, NA speaker remarked that the non-payment of honoraria will be considered a breach of the privilege of the Parliament.

The House approved all 124 supplementary demands for grants and appropriations amounting to over 121 billion rupees for the outgoing financial year of different ministries and departments. The house also approved Rs68.5 billion charge expenditures.

At the fag end of proceedings amid desk-thumping, the minister announced ten per cent increase in salaries of parliamentarians.  Taking the floor, Opposition Leader Khursheed Shah raised serious concerns for not taking parliament into confidence by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on foreign policy. “Why our [foreign] policy is still unclear, as minister for foreign affairs [PM] should inform the parliament about it,” he said. He also questioned that why Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was not given opportunity to speak in the Islamic summit. About absence of Prime Minister, Shah sarcastically said the Premier has no time for its own parliamentarians.

PTI’s Shah Mehmood Qureshi said the government institutions were creating restrictions in the way of JIT. “JIT is feeling insecure,” he said apparently quoting JIT’s report. Qureshi was repeatedly interrupted by some government MNAs, including Abid Sher Ali, Mian Abdul Manan and others, with their teasing remarks.