KARACHI - The opposition parties in Sindh Assembly have blamed the PPP’s provincial government for conspiring to create a rift in opposition ranks by providing development funds to some of the lawmakers of its own choice.
The PPP government in current financial year has provided Rs 40 million each to some of the MPAs including PML-N’s parliamentary leader in Sindh Assembly Irfanullah Marwat, ignoring other MPAs of PML-F and PTI from opposition benches.
It may be noted that planning and development department between August and November last year had written a letter to all the MPAs from treasury and opposition benches advising them to suggest the development schemes within the financial limit of Rs 40 million in their constituencies.
The MPAs followed the procedure and submitted the schemes for their constituencies, but as a policy of the government, the finance department was not ready to release funds for the uplift schemes proposed by opposition MPAs.
Even, MPA Khurrum Sher Zaman of PTI from opposition had brought the privilege motion against the alleged discrimination of the government and chief of Tameer-e-Pakistan Programme for not releasing funds for development schemes proposed by the opposition MPAs.
The issue of discrimination in release of development funds to opposition MPAs also remained in discussion in the current session of the Sindh Assembly.
When contacted, Mahtab Akbar Rashdi of PML-F from opposition benches in Sindh Assembly told The Nation that opposition MPAs completed all formalities and submitted their schemes to planning and development department but now the finance department following discrimination policy of the government was not releasing the funds.
She said she had received a letter from planning and development department in November 2013 stating that government had approved Rs 40 million for development scheme of her constituency. But, now when all the procedure was complete, the department concerned was saying it had no funds, she said, asking the government why such discriminatory treatment was being meted out to opposition members.
She pointed out that funds for the development schemes proposed by some of the opposition MPAs belonging to PML-N had been released by the provincial government and all other MPAs from treasury benches were also receiving the same funds without any hindrance.
She blamed the PPP’s provincial government for adopting a discriminatory attitude towards oppositions MPAs by not releasing funds for uplift schemes. PML-F’s another MPA Nand Kumar said though the chief minister at a meeting with the MPAs had promised release of 50 percent development funds to the members but later the CM himself retracted from his assurance by refusing any development scheme to opposition MPAs.
Meanwhile, PTI member Khuram Sher Zaman has also condemned the discriminatory attitude of the PPP government in releasing funds. He said Rs 40 million each had been released for the development schemes in constituencies of treasury MPAs, besides funds had also been released to MNAs and Senators who had no privilege.
The opposition MPAs have vowed to raise the same issue in Monday’s sitting of the Sindh Assembly.