LAHORE - Finance Minister Dr Ayesha Ghaus Pasha has said that education, health, maintenance of law and order, setting up new universities, safe society for women and provision of clean drinking water would be priorities while making allocations for next fiscal year.

Wrapping up pre-budget debate at Punjab Assembly yesterday, she said that the next budget would be exemplary and according to aspiration of the masses. Treasury managed to bring legislators in required number to the House to enable finance minister to wind up pre-budget debate. Opposition legislators Ahsan Riaz Fatyana pointed out quorum that led to suspension of proceedings for brief period of five minutes. The government move of arranging lunch for legislators proved helpful in resolving the chronic issue of quorum.

Dr Ayesha Ghaus Pasha said that empowerment of women and making the society safe for them would be amongst top priorities. She promised enhancing allocations and job quota for minorities. She said that privatized missionary institutions would be handed back to the original management. She said that availability of doctors and availability of necessary facilities would be ensured at public sector hospitals. She promised incorporating proposals of legislators in the next budget.

Earlier, the session started one hour and 15 minutes beyond the scheduled time with Speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal in the chair.

During Question-Hour on industry and cooperative departments, Minister Sh Allaudin said that more than 2 million youth would be imparted vocational training by 2018.

Replying to a call attention notice of PPP’s Faiza Malik, Law Minister Rana Sanaullah said that assassination of Babar Sohail Butt was a result of old enmity. Terming the issue tragic, he said it was not an outcome of political rivalry. Sana said that brother of Babar Sohail Butt has given statement that Atif Jutt and others killed the PPP leader due to old enmity. Making this murder a political issue would not be fair, he said. Sana said MNA Sohail Shaukat Butt has also recorded his statement before the police. He said that no one was above the law. However, MNA could not be arrested till submission of police record to the court. He said that a committee headed by DIG was investigating the matter. He said that investigators were scrutinizing cellular phone data of accused to resolve the cases. He said that the accused would be apprehended soon.

On completion of agenda, the session was adjourned till Friday (today) at 9am.