Opp ready with cudgels for budget show performance

ISLAMABAD - With a countywide crisis of electricity, unending gas shortages, increasing inflation and poor law and order situation in most parts of the state, the federal government is going to present today its fifth financial budget in the national assembly.
President Asif Ali Zardari has summoned the assembly session on June 1 (today) to present the budget for the fiscal year 2012-13. The session will start at 5:30pm and most probably would be chaired by National Assembly Speaker Dr Fehmida Mirza. The senate session has also been called on Friday and the budget is likely to be presented in the upper house as well the same day.
Minister for Finance Hafeez Sheikh will present the budget in the national assembly while majority of the members from treasury as well as opposition benches would attend the session. The finance minister is most likely to face strong protest from the opposition benches during his speech over the poor performance of the government in almost all sectors of national life.
The leading opposition party in the Lower House, PML-N, is already running a ‘Go Gilani Go’ campaign after the Supreme Court conviction of the premier. Now Speaker Fehmida can also face the heat of this in-house campaign after she gave the ruling in favour of the prime minister. However it is yet to be seen how the other opposition parties, including JUI-F and PPP- Sherpao, respond if the PML-N does take on the Speaker over the PM’s disqualification issue.
The government had to face a similar kind of protest during the last budget session when number of PML-N legislators raising anti government slogans came in front of finance minister during his speech and also tried to snatch the copy of speech from the minister, who was being provided a cover by the PPP legislators encircling him.
The people, especially the government employees, have pinned high hopes on the new budget and they are expecting relief and a good raise in salaries and pensions due to its being the election year. The ruling PPP during its last four budgets has already given almost a hundred percent raise in the salaries.

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