On June 3, 2011, the fourth budget of the current government was presented in the National Assembly by Finance Minister, Abdul Hafeez Shaikh. The main opposition party, Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz’s members raised slogans throughout the speech of the Finance Minister which at times made the impact of the speech diluted. The budget speech like every year is a very brief extract of what is to be expected for the next fiscal i.e. expected income, expected expenses and strategy of plugging the gaps. After the speech ends, the real parliamentary work begins. The Finance Bill is laid to the house for discussion and for the next 3 weeks or so, delibration takes place on the various heads of the budget.
The last three budget speeches were non-events for those who are excited at the thought of shouts and the famous headline “Aiwan Machhli Bazar Ban Gaya” or “The house resonated like a fish market”. I am not going to talk about the budget but the return of political immaturity by the main opposition party, PML-N.
As soon as the Finance Minister rose to begin his speech, a very vocal opposition party began a worst kind of demonstration. Apparently, some women members gave the Finance Minister a set of “bangles” while the educated and well suited Ahsan Iqbal, presented a roti to the Finance Minister. To be very honest, what they were planning to achieve from their antics is not known, but for sure, PML-N’s acts were an indication of their interest to go back to the 1990’s. 1990’s are considered the lost years of Pakistan’s democracy when both the PPP and PML-N would regularly demonstrate in the National Assembly to make the place the proverbial fish market.
On top of that, Pakistan’s answer to Mr. Bean, the leader of opposition, Chaudhry Nisar, without even reading the budget documents or hearing the budget speech chose to play to the galleries saying “The Finance Minister’s speech was a drama. The budget has been prepared on the directions of the IMF!”. Now what in the world does that mean? Those who are creating a scene in the house calling a speech a drama???
With all due respect, the insensibility of PML-N has been exposed yet again and just goes to confirm that post approval of the budget, PML-N will make a lot of problems for the sitting government. From July till February next year, they will leave no stone unturned to try that the PPP government goes so that it can be stopped from taking over the Senate for next six years.
Is this what we call “people’s politics”? It was the finest example of personal interest for their own survival. Shame on the PML-N
On a lighter note, Chaudhry Nisar should at least be happy that import duty on Shampoos has been reduced. That is what he needs!