PML-N leader accuses Punjab govt of transferring funds to Centre by showing budget surplus

There was a risk of at least a million people becoming unemployed, PML-N leader Awais Leghari warned, adding that the Punjab government’s budget had no mention of water or agriculture. Geo.tv/Files

LAHORE: PML-N leader Awais Leghari said Tuesday Punjab’s economy had crash-landed a day after the provincial government presented a Rs2.24-trillion budget, which he termed was unjust.

Addressing a press conference here in Lahore, the PML-N lawmaker said Punjab’s economy — which stood at Rs1.8 trillion — had crash-landed and that the provincial government wished to transfer funds to its federal counterpart by showing a surplus in the budget.

There was a risk of at least a million people becoming unemployed, Leghari warned, adding that the Punjab government’s budget had no mention of water or agriculture.

He criticised the PTI-led government of Punjab further, asking why there was a need to allocated Rs4 billion to combat the locust attacks when only Rs1 billion was required.

“Injustice is being done to Punjab through this budget,” he remarked. “All large and small markets are closed due to the corona [virus] pandemic so why do they need any concession?

“Funds have been set aside for women’s empowerment in four regions; do women from other regions not deserve [the same],” Leghari asked, adding that those who championed the “Naya Pakistan” slogan were supposed to bring a revolution.

He lamented that in a month, the price of wheat had shot up from Rs1,400 per mann, or maund, to Rs1,700.

Referring to the South Punjab province issue, the PML-N leader said the South Punjab Forest Company (SPFC) of the provincial government’s Forestry, Wildlife, and Fisheries Department “was crashed”.

“A sum of only Rs1.5 billion was allocated to set up an office in South Punjab,” he added, noting that the demand was for a separate province so that’s what was needed to be talked about.

The incumbent government had also ruined the projects launched by Shehbaz Sharif, the former chief minister of Punjab and the PML-N’s current president.

“In the past two years, 70% of Punjab’s roads have become dilapidated,” Leghari highlighted.

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