ISLAMABAD   -  After days of ruckus, the National Assembly yesterday saw a marathon sitting that continued for around twelve hours, perhaps breaking the previous records.

The treasury mostly lauded the first full-fledged PTI government budget while opposition termed it IMF-dictated financial layout. Lawmakers from both sides slated the governments of each other in their speeches.

PML-N parliamentary leader Khwaja Muhammad Asif said the incumbent government had lost its credibility only in ten months.

He said members in the first row of PTI would prove "passengers" and the [PM-proposed] investigation commission should deal with them first.

Khawaja said that opposition would give full chance to the government to complete its term as they did not want them to have any excuse in future. “Despite keeping former Prime Minister  Nawaz Sharif in confinement, his roots are becoming strong... Narrative of his party is becoming popular with every passing day,” he said.

He regretted that his party leader was not being allowed to visit his doctor abroad. “Government denies requests for medical treatment abroad but it has brought a 'doctor' [Hafeez Shaikh] to fix the economy of country,” he mockingly said.

“It is insult of elected members as unelected members are being appointed,” said the former defence and power minister. He said the withdrawal of zero rated facility for export oriented industries would reduce job opportunities.

PPP’s central leader Syed Khursheed Shah termed federal budget a jugglery of words. “Even members from treasury are criticising the budgetary proposals,” he said.

The government should fix 15 percent funds for the construction of dams. “We did not make hue and cry after coming into power like incumbent government but provided relief to masses,” he said.

Shah made mockery of the claims PTI has made in the run up to general elections. “Has this government not introduced amnesty scheme? Have the prime minister and governor houses turned into libraries? Has the value of rupee not depreciated against dollar?,” he asked sarcastically.

In the middle of the proceedings, House Speaker Asad Qaiser asked State Minister on Finance Hamad Azhar and Adviser to PM on Finance Abdul Hafeez Shaikh that at least one of them must be present in the house during the budget debate, or he would suspend the house proceedings.

PTI’s senior leader Fakhar Imam said there was a need to take innovative steps for improving the GDP growth of the country. The former national assembly speaker said there was also a need to improve country’s agriculture sector, as it directly contributes around 19 percent to the GDP. He lauded the decision for making special committee for agriculture reforms.

He also appreciated the decision for not increasing defence budget in given economic situation. He suggested establishing centres of excellence for improving the quality of research in universities.

MMA Munir Khan Orakzai proposed government to withdraw tax on people of Fata areas. On it, the chair asked him to present a resolution on this issue.

Orakzai said the tribal districts should be given their share in the CPEC, and made a ridiculous demand of handing over country's education system to the Pakistan Army.

PML-N’s Khurram Dastagir strongly criticised PTI policies which he said had led to increase in poverty, unemployment and inflation.

“Mismanagement and incompetence remained on its peak in the last ten months as inflation has increased three folds,” he said and commented that government could not deliver by only changing minister for finance. Despite the tall claims of PTI’s government, he said, the rulers have failed to collect taxes.

“Not only the economic situation has gone bad due to wrong policies of this government but the supremacy of constitution is also in danger,” Khurram commented. The former minister said this government has not proposed sufficient measures in the finance bill.

PTI’s Junaid Akbar said the government has presented a people-friendly budget despite the tough circumstances. “For the first time the focus is being given to documentation of economy and duties on raw material, which is appreciable,” he said.

MNA from Balochistan Aslam Bhuttani opposed the decision for decreasing share of Balochistan in NFC. “Balochistan received maximum share in 2010 and now three percent decrease in its share has been suggested,” he said and warned of strong protest if government went ahead with this plan.

Another Balochistan member Ehsan Ullah Reki also strongly opposed the proposal for decreasing their share in NFC. He said that there was no proper allocation of funds for Balochistan.

PTI MNA Noor Alam criticised amnesty scheme proposed by his party's government by saying that it offered a chance to looters for getting away with their loot.

He said the lawmakers in the budget debate hardly raised any voice for the poor but were making attempts to appease their leaders.

Noor Alam said the MNAs should avoid criticising each other in matters relating to religion. “Please avoid it and don't try to make another Salman Taseer like example in the country,” he said.

Federal Minister Zartaj Gul blamed previous governments for not taking any positive measures for the development of the country. Past government, she said, had also time and again changed their finance ministers. She said that this government has specified development budget for the people of southern Punjab unlike the previous governments.

MMA lawmaker Abdul Shakoor said that the new budget was so much anti-poor that even a well to do man like him would find it hard to manage his finances.

He also posed the question, “If it is Riasat-e-Madinah then why there is interest based economic system”. The MNA lauded Pakistan Army for not demanding increase in their budget.

PTI’s Shunila Ruth lauded the prime minister for taking care of minorities. She demanded the government to specify funds for minorities.

PPP MNA Naaz Baloch said the government had not made sufficient increase in salaries of government employees. “The turn-coats in the PTI are only there for getting ministries,” she commented.