Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Punjab Budget only a report of the extravagant and whimsical expenses of the “Shahbaz Raj”, Moonis Elahi

Leader of Pakistan Muslim League, Moonis Elahi during his speech in the current budget session of the Punjab Assembly on Monday strongly criticized the lavish expenses incurred by the Punjab Chief Minster secretariat in the concluding financial year and pointed out the gross financial anomalies in the new budget.

He said Punjab government’s failure in controlling the lavish expenses of the CM secretariat was a glaring proof of this government’s incompetency in managing the budget of the entire province. He pointed out that the approved last year’s budget of the CM secretariat was around Rs. 120 million but instead Rs. 270 million was spent thus burdening the provincial exchequer with an additional Rs. 150 Million.

He remarked that the Punjab government had no qualms in even sacrificing the provincial education budget at the altar of their whimsical and extravagant spending of the public funds.

He said that by reducing the education department’s budget by an alarming Rs. 10 billion and using this money to foot the CM’s plane and chopper flying bills and similar other extra constitutional expenses tantamount to destroying the already fragile education sector of the province.

He said that Shahbaz government’s anti education policies had resulted in a steep decline of the provincial literacy and enrolment rates.

He remarked that the misuse of power and resources by the rulers was equivalent to murdering and depriving the innocent. He was highly critical of the use of Zakat and Bait ul mal funds for the fraudulent “Sasti Roti Politics” of the Shahbaz government.

He said that had subsidy on wheat been offered instead of spending crores on the promotion and publicity of the “Sasti Roti Scam”the entire population of the province could have enjoyed a cheaper chappati.

He remarked that at present the said scheme is only focused at select urban areas and even the tandoors located in the Sharif’s home constituency in Lahore were not selling the roti at less than Rs. 3.

He reminded the house of the way the Shahbaz government had played up the issue of cars purchased by the previous government and pointed out that in stark contrast to their announcement of observing austerity, the Shahbaz government was spending billions of public rupees on buying new cars for mushrooming task forces in the province which comprised their unelected and incompetent favorites.

These tack forces he further said were a huge drain on public resources and were a testimonial to the difference in the words and deeds of the Shahbaz government.

He pointed out that an amount of 35 million was allocated in the gifts and entertainment budget of the Punjab government last year but the Shahbaz government had spent over Rs. 100 million instead.

He reminded the house of the promises of eliminating poverty and observing austerity made by the Shahbaz government at their outset and pointed out at their dismal performance resulting in wide spread poverty and hunger in the province.

He said that this budget was an incomplete financial document and therefore not a budget but a report of the extravagant and whimsical expenses of the “Shahbaz Raj”.