ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz president and Leader of the Opposition Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday lashed out at Prime Minister Imran Khan-led government for failing to fulfill its promises, including one about creating millions of new jobs.
Sharif, who was finally able to deliver his speech on budget in the National Assembly after three previous sessions of the House were adjourned due to chaotic behaviour by both treasury as well as opposition members, blasted the fake budget of the government and said it had ruined the country due to a 'storm of inflation'.
He had been unable to complete his speech in the National Assembly since Monday due to protest by the treasury members in reaction to the sloganeering by the opposition when Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin presented the budget estimates for fiscal year 2021-22 on June 11.
"Twenty million people have fallen below the poverty line in these three years. Income has been reduced by 20 per cent As a result of these fake budgets, five million people have lost their jobs," Sharif said.
He criticized the slogan of Naya Pakistan' by asking the government to return the old Pakistan' which was better as the country was making progress.
He urged the government to slash taxes on essential food items and increase salaries of the employees by 20 per cent against 10 per cent announced by the government.
He also asked to expedite work on different projects under ambitious USD 60 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
Sharif also criticised the government's response to the Covid-19 pandemic, saying it failed to utilize the unconditional offer of cooperation by the opposition to tackle the coronavirus.
He was able to make the speech after lawmakers from the government and opposition met Speaker Asad Qaisar and agreed to follow rules.
"The decision has been taken to run assemblies smoothly and respect each other.
The members have to use appropriate language, cursing should be refrained from, efforts should be made to avoid a ruckus and no one should rise from their seats so there is no fighting or discord, Defence Minister Pervez Khattak told the media after the meeting.
The meeting also agreed to form a committee to discuss granting more powers to the speaker to ensure peace in the house.
Violent scenes were witnessed in the National Assembly this week as lawmakers from treasury and opposition benches hurled abuses and threw budget copies at each other when Sharif attempted to make the customary speech to open the forum for debate on the budget.
At least two treasury members were injured in the scuffle.
Flustered at the incident, Speaker Qaiser on Wednesday barred seven lawmakers, including three from the ruling party, from entering the House for their "unparliamentary" and "inappropriate" behaviour.
Three lawmakers belonging to the PTI and the PML-N each and one member of Pakistan Peoples Party have been barred from attending the session.
They include Ali Gohar Khan (PML-N), Chaudhary Hamid Hameed (PML-N), Sheikh Rohale Asghar (PML-N), Faheem Khan (PTI), Abdul Majeed Khan (PTI), Ali Nawaz Awan (PTI) and Syed Agha Rafiullah (PPP).