ISLAMABAD - The government on Friday laid the finance bill 2017-18 in the Senate shortly following its presentation in the National Assembly amid walkout of the opposition parties.

As soon as Finance Minister Ishaq Dar came to the Senate to lay the finance bill, PPP parliamentary leader Taj Haider rose from his seat to say something but the chair did not allow him to do so.

This prompted the opposition to stage a protest walkout while chanting slogans of ‘go Nawaz go’ and ignoring the Chairman Senate’s directions of not chanting any slogans in the house.

The finance minister regretted opposition’s attitude and said that this was neither mine nor the PML-N’s budget as it was Pakistan’s budget. The protest is meaningless at a time when Pakistan is set to join G-20 in next 12 years and the highest GDP in ten years has been achieved, he said. He asked that there should be no politics on the economy.

This is part of parliamentary practice, Chairman Senate Mian Raza Rabbani reminded Dar.  Meanwhile, the chair asked the members wishing to make recommendations on the finance bill by May 29 (Monday). The proposals should be given to the Senate Standing Committee on Planning and Development, which will submit its report to the Senate Standing Committee on Finance within seven days, he said.

The finance committee will have ten days to finalise its recommendations while the house will start discussion on budget from Monday. Separately, the house unanimously adopted a resolution paying tributes to the services of former Senator Abdul Rahim Mandokhel who died recently.

The chair found in order a privilege motion moved by ANP Senator Shahi Syed against the security forces for entering his house in his native town under the pretext of operation Raddul Fasaad. In the motion, he alleged that the forces misbehaved with his family members despite the fact that the house belonged to a sitting lawmaker.

The lawmakers in the house also criticised the government for use of force against farmers in the capital who were protesting for their rights.