Sindh Assembly witnesses legislators’ scarcity amid budget debate

Karachi-Disinterest of the Sindh Assembly lawmakers continued on Wednesday as it continued debate on Rs2.24 trillion budget for the fiscal year 2023-24 with a thin attendance from both sides of the aisle.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), except few disgruntled lawmakers, had distanced itself from the proceedings after May 9 apparently to avoid arrest or forced disappearance. Whereas, majority of members belonging to Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) also remained absent.
Parliamentary leaders of Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) and Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) also did not attend Wednesday’s sitting.
MQM-P apologies to people for not living up to expectations
During the debate, MQM-P’s Ghulam Jilani said that his constituency and entire Korangi district had been facing acute water scarcity, adding that he had raised the issue at every concerned forum but to no avail.
“There are 13 illegal connections in Korangi and water meant for public consumption was being supplied to cattle pens and for agriculture,” he added.
He also raised severe questions on the drain cleanliness drive ahead of the monsoon season and that not a single storm-water drain in ditrict Korangi had been cleaned properly.
“Korangi will submerge, if God forbids there is heavy rain due to BIPARJOY Cyclone,” he apprehended. The MQM-P lawmaker also apologised to the people who elected him and other party MPAs for not coming up to their expectations.
“They (voters) had elected us with a hope that we would resolve their issues but we were not able to even ensure provision of water for them as those who are responsible never paid any heed to public grievances,” he added. Rashid Khilji of MQM-P mainly focused issues of his constituency and Hyderabad as he demanded special package for the city.
He said that crime rate had been increased considerably in Hyderabad, demanding local police to control the same. He was of the view that Hyderabad is the second largest city of the province but lacked proper sewerage system. The Muttahida lawmaker said that construction of medical college for women had not been completed despite lapse of several years, asking the provincial government to do so at the earliest.
People friendly budget
Pakistan People’s Party’s other lawmakers, Shazia Karim Singhar also started her speech while congratulating the party leadership and chief minister for presenting ‘people friendly’ budget.
She said that Karachi particularly Lyari had been facing worst load-shedding of electricity and gas and the people were facing severe hardships.
“Citizens have been demanding that K-Electric’s distribution licence should not be extended,” she added while asking the chief minister to consider the demand. She said that it was time to make the KE mend its ways.
Tariq Ali Talpur of PPP said that the biggest issue of his constituency was water and its drainage as Jhuddo was situated at tail-end.
He said that the area people and agriculturists had been facing severe hardships as a natural drainage that used to take storm-water away had been closed after construction of left bank outfall drain (LBOD).
The PPP MPA said a 30-bedded hospital in his constituency was not enough to cater a large number of population, demanding that number of beds should be increased alongwith other facilities.
Talpur demanded of his own provincial government to establish English medium school, medical and engineering colleges as well as a varsity at Mirpurkhas division.
He also demanded that people’s electricity bus services in the division.
Houses for 
flood affectees
Naseem Rajpar, of the Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) said that the provincial government announced to establish houses for flood victims, adding that displaced people had not been provided the houses yet.
She said that the flood-affected people were living in very unfortunate situation.
The GDA lawmaker demanded that the People’s Bus Service should be started in Naushahroferoze and Shaheed Benazirabad.
Sindh govt failed to 
provide relief to people
Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan’s Sarwat Fatima said that it was PPP’s 15th consecutive budget in Sindh but it failed to provide relief to the people. She said that if the provincial government really meant to provide relief to the people in the budget, it would have reduced the prices of essential commodities.
She said that billions of rupees had been spent in the health department but its impacts were not seen on grounds. “The Sindh government only has National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases to which it intends to show its performance in the health department but the patients are suffering there as well. The patients had to wait for treatment on government expenses but could get the same instantly on self-finance basis,” she alleged.
PPP’s Sarfaraz Shah, Farhat Seemin, Shamim Mumtaz, Hari Ram Lal, Sardar Khan Chandio and Syeda Marvi Faseeh, MQM-P’s Rabia Khatoon, GDA’s Waryam Faqir and PTI dissident Shaheryar Khan Shar also spoke on the occasion.
Later, the house was adjourned for today (Thursday).

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