LAHORE - The Punjab Assembly Thursday witnessed a hot debate between Treasury and the Opposition over the approval of supplementary budget to the tune of Rs42.953billion for the outgoing financial year 2014-15.

The 15th session of the assembly started 55 minutes beyond the stipulated time with Speaker Rana Iqbal Khan in the chair.

Finance Minister Dr Ayesha Ghaus Pasha presented the budget before the House pleading that these expenditure were incurred over the above the approved budget in a situation of emergency during the preceding financial year.

In counterblast to the Opposition, the minister counted last year’s floods in the province, a major head under which emergency spending was carried out. She said that the government was on a mission to improve the growth rate.

Starting debate on the budget, the Opposition resisted approval of the same, saying the addition amount was in fact spent on the luxuries as well and to meet the expenses of the aristocratic life style of the rulers and the bureaucracy. It termed this budget an outcome of the mismanagement of the government.

Finance Minister Dr Ayesha objected to the Opposition description of ‘mismanagement’ and said that 43 per cent of the supplementary budget was spent on floods affectees of 16 districts where the devastations were widespread.

Reforms were also brought in the provincial administration and adjustment of salaries including that of the specialist doctors with the same money, she added. She told the House that after getting GSP+ status by the European Union, emergency spending was also made on completing Pakistan Apparel Park.

Mian Aslam of PTI said many heads of misappropriation were hidden in this budget and now the budget had been put up just to have stamp of the House. “Whims of the rulers is the benchmark for spending of the budget which is evident from the fact that Rs2billion have been spent on constructing just one kilometer of the metro bus and four billion ‘reward’ has been given to the DG LDA just for completing this project,” he added.

He alleged that a drug testing laboratory was being shut down to benefit son of a federal minister who wanted to set up his own with the help of an Indian company.

He alleged that the minister’s son was running the company which had supplied the spurious drugs to the PIC which caused many death two years ago.

PML-Q’s Khadeeja Umar said the supplementary budget contained the amount spent on building kitchen and toilets.

Ch Akhtar told the house that 189 per cent increase had been made in the spending of the government functionaries while their performance declined by 66 per cent. He said Rs73 crore were paid for the VVIP flights only adding, such spending cannot constitute emergency.

Sheikh Ijaz of Treasury dubbed the Khyber PK government of the PTI quite failed and said the last blood soaked local government election in the province demand resignation of the CM KPK.

During the speech of treasury members Sheikh Ijaz, PTI and PML-N member chanted slogans against the leadership of each other. DR Nasheen, Mian Muhammad Rafiq and Arif Abbasi also spoke the budget. The House will resume debate on the budget at 10am today (Friday).

The PTI filed a resolution against the MQM over the BBC report which accused Muttahida of receiving funds from India to carry out saboteur and terrorist activity in Pakistan.