LAHORE - The Punjab Assembly on Saturday passed the Supplementary Budget 2007-08 of an amount of Rs 44.216 billion despite the fact that a few of the Treasury benchers did not intend to endorse it, and one showed his resentment by staging a lone-man boycott, while they also wanted that the government should not endorse the financial irregularities of the previous rulers. The Opposition, except forward bloc members, did not attend the proceedings in continuation of their boycott of the Budget Session. However, the members did not sit in their temporary Chamber. They did not enter the Assembly premises, perhaps knowing the impending decision that the Session would be prorogued for an indefinite period. It came quite a shock for many when a treasury member Malik Nausher Langrial walked out of the House asserting that the Treasury members had reservations regarding the Supplementary Budget, and were of the considered opinion that the previous government must go through the accountability process for the irregularities. On the Other hand, when 39 demands were moved by Minister Finance Tanveer Ashraf Kaira, most of the members remained disinterested. Though quick to react, Acting speaker Rana Mashhood Ahmad Khan's committee, headed by minister food Malik Nadeem Kamran to call Malik Nausher back to the House, did not report though it cameback within ten minutes. Additional expenditures in various heads during last fiscal year were: Rs 71,000 in Land Revenue, Rs 101.089 million in Provincial Excise, Rs 2.017 million in Stamps, Rs 202,000 in Registration, Rs 231.650 million in the Charges on Account of Motor Vehicles Acts, Rs 139.867 million in Jails and Convict Settlements, Rs 29.234 million in Museums, Rs 23.452 million in Public Health, Rs 7.547 million in Fisheries, Rs 6.580 million in Veterinary, Rs 6.757 million in Cooperation, Rs 633.824 million in Industries, Rs 72.910 million in Communications, Rs 72.490 million in Relief, Rs 350 million in Pension, Rs 27.594 million in Stationery and Printing, Rs 50,000 in Loans to Government Servants and Rs 7.304 billion in Development. Out of the 39 main demands the main demands that were passed for the supplementary budget were included Rs 24.879 billion spent in respect of State of Trading in Food Grains, Rs 2.549 billion for Irrigation works, Rs 1.953 billion for Miscellaneous, Rs 1.923 billion for Health Services and 1.387 billion for Police. When the House had just passed nine demands, Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal backed MPA Ali Haider Khan Noor Niazi, in a surprise move, pointed out the quorum, saying "We are passing the supplementary budget which is clear proof of the corruption of previous government, while the house lacks the quorum," he said. Later, the house resumed its proceeding after assurances from the Members that the quorum was complete. However, the Chair advised the member to next time point out the quorum after counting the strength in the house. Amina Ulfat of the Pakistan Muslim League, at about 1.25 pm came to the House, and pointed out the quorum again, but this time, even five-minutes mandatory ringing of the bell did not prove fruitful as most of the Treasury members had already left the Assembly premises. This resulted in proroguing the session for an indefinite period. With this, the Zero Hour session, which was initiated to facilitate the members, and provide them an opportunity for speaking on the Budget, could not be completed. However, when they were provided with an opportunity, they did not avail it, as there was more who were not interested in the proceedings after the passage of the Supplementary Budget. Pointing out of the quorum caused the Treasury much of an embarrassment, and interestingly, twice during the Budget Session, by its own members. Earlier, Rana Mashhood observed that confidence building of farmers to strengthen the agriculture sector of the province was urgently needs, as the Punjab's economy depended upon its agriculture. "The govt must pay due attention to the promotion of growers and farmers," he said, while adding to the statement of Tanveer Ashraf Kaira, who had said the government would make a comprehensive policy for ensuring timely payments of to sugarcane growers by the sugar mill owners. PML-Q forward bloc member, Sheikh Alla-ud-Din, on a Point Of Order, drew the attention of the House to the non-payment of the growers by the sugar mill owners. "The sugar mill owners had given post-dated cheques to the growers for the months of September and October 2008, which is unjust, as the amount was due in December 2007 and January 2008, which will create a gap of over nine months. The government had assured for taking action against the sugar mill owners, who are cleverly avoiding the situation," he said adding that the sugar mill owners were conspiring like the previous year. "If immediate action is not taken, the price of sugar will shoot to Rs 42 to 45 this year as well. These men should be treated with the iron hand," he maintained. Kaira assured that the government would give a reasonable deadline for the payments. Kaira, while responding to an adjournment motion by Sheikh Alla-ud-Din about shortage of diesel, pointed out three reasons for this. "The hoarders stored diesel with the view that its price likely to go up; oil companies reduced its supply for not having the subsidy; and thirdly, the diesel was being smuggled to Afghanistan," he said.