KARACHI   -  The Sindh Assembly will start debating the provincial budget for the fiscal year 2019-20 today (Monday).

The debate will continue for at least five days and members from both sides of the aisle will take part in the debate.

According to rule 149 of the Rules and Procedures of the Sindh Assembly, not less than five days shall be allotted for general discussion and not less than two days shall intervene between the day of the presentation of the budget and the first day allotted by the speaker for the general discussion.

The Sindh budget of Rs1.2 trillion was presented by Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Friday amid strong protests by the opposition parties. . Shah also holds portfolio of the finance minister.

The assembly proceedings are expected to move forward like they traditionally do, with treasury members praising the budget for the next fiscal year and opposition members rejecting it.

In a related development, the Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) has demanded removal of the Sindh government for fair accountability of leaders of the ruling party who are facing corruption cases. The GDA says that fair accountability of the ruling party leaders is not possible as long as their party remains in power in Sindh.

The demand came at a meeting of top party leaders of the GDA that was chaired by PML-F chief Pir Pagara at the residence of Irfanullah Marwat and attended by Ayaz Latif Palejo, Arbab Ghulam Rahim, Safdar Abbasi, Zulfiqar Mirza and others.

Pir Syed Sadruddin Shah Rashidi said that corrupt people wanted to promote their children at the helm of the affairs and take out the masses to cover their corruption. “People of Sindh should not come out on the roads to safeguard the corrupt practices of the rulers, whose policies had ruined the province,” he said. He said that mere arrest of corrupt people would not help; their cases should be taken to a logical end and the looted money should be recovered from them.

GDA General secretary Ayaz Latif Palejo demanded that the federal government control price hike so that burden on the masses could be decreased.

“The provincial rulers failed to deal with the epidemics like AIDS and hepatitis in their stronghold. They embezzled billions of rupees from the provincial exchequer through corrupt practices rather than serving the masses,” he said.