Hamza, Salman attend PA session

LAHORE   –  PML-N leaders Hamza Shehbaz and Khawaja Salman Rafique on Thursday attended the assembly session after Punjab Assembly Speaker Ch Parvez Elahi issued orders for their production.

Hamza was in the NAB custody on corruption charges since a two-member bench of the Lahore High Court (LHC) rejected his plea for an interim bail on Tuesday. A court granted NAB 14-day physical remand on Wednesday. NAB took the two lawmakers to the assembly on Thursday.

“Hamza and Salman should be produced in the assembly,” the speaker said in the orders.

Parvez praised Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chief Minister Usman Buzdar for assisting him in doing legislation for production orders.

He said: “I am grateful and pay tributes to them. No doubt we have our own parties and own principles, political stance and problems but you the members of the assembly together have done the work for enhancing prestige of the house which has collectively benefitted. I am also thankful to Law Minister Muhammad Basharat Raja and Minister Prosecution Ch Zaheeruddin who assisted me in this regard. We will also together in future.”

The speaker said that the legislation for production orders has enhanced sanctity of the House whereas Prime Minister Imran Khan has also appreciated ongoing legislation in the Punjab Assembly.

“We should have big heart and listen to each other.”

On issuing production orders of Hamza Shehbaz, an opposition delegation met Parvez and thanked him.

The delegation included Mian Mujtaba Shujaur Rahman and Khalil Tahir Sindhu. On this occasion, Provincial Ministers Muhammad Basharat Raja and Ch Zaheeruddin and Deputy Speaker Dost Muhammad Mazari were also present. During opposition delegation meeting with the speaker, consultation also took place about the budget session.

The speaker adjourned the session for today. 

The PTI-led Punjab government is going to present its first budget on Friday (tomorrow) with an estimated outlay of over Rs 2100 billion, 18 per cent higher than the previous budget estimates.

According to sources in the finance department, the government is anticipating to receive around Rs 1500 billion from the federal divisible pool as its provincial share for the new fiscal year (2019-20). It has set a revenue collection target of Rs 368 billion, out of which Rs 283 will be collected through taxes while Rs 85 billion is likely to come from non-tax receipts.

Likewise, capital income from assets is likely to generate Rs 33 billion while foreign-funded projects are expected to fetch Rs 27 billion. 

Punjab Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs, Mohammad Basharat Raja Wednesday said that Punjab Budget would be public-friendly. He also lauded the federal government on presenting a good budget in hard economical circumstances. 

In the past, he said, billions of rupees were spent from the national exchequer on the personal belongings of rulers such as construction of drains for sugar mills and roads for personal residences.

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