ISLAMABAD - Finance Minister Ishaq Dar yesterday told the National Assembly he would tender resignation if a single penny was proven beyond his declared assets in any foreign account.

The minister, winding up debate on charged expenditures, also threatened in an emotional tone to sue politicians for levelling false allegations against him.

“I would not tolerate any more as loose talk just for making news for the media should be avoided,” said the minister, responding to the allegations levelled by AML chief Sheikh Rashid that Ishaq Dar too had foreign accounts.

Dar, in a lighter mood, also advised people to eat chicken instead of lentils which are comparatively expensive. “If Daal maash is expensive, the people can go for chicken which is Rs 200 per kilogram,” he remarked.

Dar criticised opposition members for threatening to stage protest. “There is a need to respect each other. Now I will not bear further allegations and knock at the door of court,” he warned.

About news and allegations about his sons, he said there was no need to involve his kids in politics.

About the expenditures by the President, the minister said there was much difference between President Mamnoon Hussian and other former presidents. “The allocations have been made in view of his responsibilities and activities as he represents the country at international forums,” said Dar, defending allegations about increasing budget of the Presidency.

About criticism on secret funds, the minister said it was the incumbent government which put an end to secret funds of 32 institutions. “Except ISI and IB, the secret funds of 32 institutions were stopped by this government,” he added.

Responding to concerns about ‘begging bowl’ in terms of foreign loans, he said it was the former governments which had taken much more foreign loans. “The PML-N government has brought down fiscal deficit from 8.8 percent to 4.3 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) during its tenure,” he said.

He shared with the house that the debt in 1999 was Rs 3,000 billion which increased in the former dictator’s era to Rs 5,800 billion and it further reached Rs 14,318 billion in the PPP era.

Dar was optimistic about bringing down the debt to GDP ratio to nearly 60 percent by 2018 and it could be further reduced to 50 percent in next 15 years.

About criticism by all the opposition members on the foreign policy, he said Pakistan’s Foreign Office knew what was happening around. He also said the unprovoked firing incident at Torkham was not a good omen. “The prime minister has also called Tariq Fatmi to London to discuss this matter,” he added.

About PSDP’s allocation, he said a big amount was being used in operation Zarb-e-Azab. The minister said three provinces of the country had deficit budget, adding the government should focus on the federal deficit.

The house was also suspended for lack of quorum at the start of the proceedings. The quorum was pointed out by Dr Shireen Mazari.

Speaking on charge expenditures, opposition lawmakers criticised the government for taking foreign loans, increasing the budget of the Presidency as well as secret funds and foreign policy of the country.

AML chief Sheikh Rashid accused Ishaq Dar of having foreign accounts. “The money which is spent on advertisements for saving electricity should be avoided as electricity can be given to two villages with this money,” he remarked.

PPP’s Shazia Marri, JI’s Sher Akbar, MQM’s Salahuddin, PTI’s Ghulam Sarwar and others spoke on charge expenditures.

Earlier, the house approved demand of grants worth Rs 865.189 billion for Defence Division for the fiscal year 2016-17.