LAHORE - The Punjab Assembly yesterday approved Rs146.93 billion supplementary budget for the fiscal year 2015-16 with majority, rejecting two cut motions moved by the Opposition.

Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq witnessed part of proceedings in the gallery. On his arrival, the opposition chanted slogans against the NA speaker and the ruling party leadership. The treasury responded with the slogans against PTI Chairman.

The proceedings started with one hour and 20 minutes beyond the scheduled time with Speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal in the chair.

Concluding debate on supplementary budget, Finance Minister Dr Aysha Ghaus Pasha said that sometime unavoidable circumstances force the government to make spending under the head not mentioned in budget. She argued that such things were routine all over the globe.

She said that the government announced Kissan Package to give relief to the growers affected by fluctuation of crop prices in the international market. She said that urban development and stability in rural economy was equally important for the provincial government. She said that the federal government announced Rs55 billion Kissan Package for reducing miseries of growers.

She said that half of the cost was borne by the provinces. She said that timely assistance helped decreasing hardships of the farmers. She said that the Punjab government provided Rs20 billion for the project, Rs12 billion subsidy for tubewells.

She said that it was difficult to wait for the next fiscal year to provide relief to the farmers. Similarly, Rs8 billion were spent on paying enhanced pension on the court directions. She said that supplementary grants were issued to various departments for meeting emergency needs. She said that Khidmat Cards, dengue and other such projects were highlighted in advertisements. The House rejected cut motions of the opposition with a majority vote.  On arrival of Speaker NA Sardar Ayaz Sadiq in the gallery, the chair welcomed him on behalf of the House and Law Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan from the treasury benches. The opposition welcomed the NA speaker with slogans against him and the Prime Minister.

On a point of order, treasury legislator Sheikh Allauddin drew the attention of the House towards withdrawal of out of turn promotions of thousands of police officers on apex court verdict.

He said that the affected officers have returned to the positions they were holding 15 years back. He argued that these officers were promoted for giving exemplary services. Rana Sanaullah Khan said that 9,000 to 10,000 police officers were affected from the court verdict. He said that issue started with irregularities in out of turn promotions in Sindh.

The matter was challenged in the court and later all provinces were included. He said that the Apex Court judgment could not be bypassed. Similarly, no legislation could be made against the decision. He said that the Law Department was evaluating the option of filing review petition.

On completion of agenda, the chair prorogued the session.