KARACHI - Budget making should not remain an exclusive domain of the bureaucrats and it is the elected representatives who should take lead in the preparation of budget only then it will become truly A budget of the people. Elected representatives should be taken into confidence in the budget making process because they were better aware of the problems of the people in their constituencies and knew about the solution of those problems, said Bilqees Mukhtar, MQM member of the house while taking part in general discussion on provincial budget 2008-09 here on Friday. She said that for the last 60 years the budget was presented every year as a ritual. She suggested that pre-budget session should be held and members from both treasury and opposition should be taken into confidence and their recommendations incorporated in budget preparation which usually starts in the month of October every year long before the final document was presented in the house. She said that in all developed countries pre-budget session was common where the suggestions of elected members were made part of budgets She said it had become customary that successive government did not allow passage of any cut motion in the budget and considered it as a matter of ego. Bilqees Mukhtar said that though it was a graduate assembly but the members were not well versed of the language of the document and added that it should be made simple. She suggested that standing committees comprising treasury and opposition members should be constituted to monitor the budget spending and to ensure that allocated funds were utilised in a proper manner. Participating in the debate, PPP member from Thatta Humera Alwani expressed concern over the growing street crime, gang war in Lyari and rising incidents of kidnapping for ransom. She said that it would be better if the Home Minister was present in house and took note of the suggestions made by the members. She congratulated the government for shelving Kalabagh Dam project for good. She said that shortage of water has ruined the agriculture of the province and destroyed the Indus delta. She demanded of the government that 1991 Water Accord should be implemented in letter and spirit and 10 MAF water should be allowed to go down the sea to save the lands of the coastal belt, which inundated it with salt water. Taking part in discussion, Dr. Ahmed Ali Shah of PPP termed Wapda as curse on people Sindh and making the lives of masses miserable. He said that despite long hours of power shedding the poor people were issued detection bills. He demanded of the government to approach the federal government to solve this problem and declared the detection bills as illegal, as it had become source of corruption. The PPP member was of the opinion that on the one hand precious land of Sindh was being sold to armed forces at throw away prices while payment remained stuck for years together. He demanded of the government to recover Rs9 billion from the armed forces which was stuck up for a number of years. Abdur Razzaq Rahimoon, a PML-Q member participating in the discussion, accused the ruling party of double talk. While in opposition last year, the ruling party had dubbed the provincial budget presented at that time in the assembly as anti-people because they had argued that it was prepared without getting an NFC Award. The current budget had been prepared and presented without an NFC Award but the ruling party, which had protested in the past, were now describing the budget as pro-people and not anti people as previously they had taken the stand. He said that government had announced that it had abolished Own Pay Scale System (OPS) last month. He said a supervisor in the education department working on OPS in his district Tharparkar was deeply involved in corruption. Moreover, he said that Sindh government had claimed to send home the contract employees but at the same time a federal government officer has been given a contract of two and half year. He complained of political victimisation in Tharparkar district and alleged that even a cancer patient was not spared and implicated in fake cases. He said that cases had been registered against his six brothers. Haji Muzaffar Shujrah of PPP said that one of the biggest cattle colony of the world in his constituency where the milk is being sold at Rs32 per liter but the retailers in the city were selling same milk at Rs40 to 42 per litre after mixing water in it. He also suggested for doubling the salaries and allowances of the MPA should be doubled. Mir Hassan Khoso, a PPP legislator from Thul, said that budget was combination of problems and resources. He said that although a substantial increase had been made under the head of law and order but no respite was seen in the interior parts of the province. He expressed concern over growing incident of kidnapping for ransom, which had made the life of people of Thul miserable. He said that a six-year-old girl, Fazeela, was kidnapped some 20 months ago, but police has yet to recover her. He urged the Chief Minister to direct the police to recover the girl as soon as possible. He reminded the CM of the promise of recovering the poor child made during his visit to Thul. Zareen Majeed of MQM, appreciated allocation in budget for uplift of women. She said that essential commodities like atta, pulses, ghee and edible oil should be provided to the poor at cheaper rate and suggested crackdown on hoarders and profiteers. Ali Ghulam Nizamani of PML-F said that since agriculture was backbone of our economy so subsidy should be granted on agricultural inputs and on tractors. Nadeem Bhutto of PPP and Amanullah of ANP, in their speeches appreciated the budget. At the end, Deputy Speaker Ms. Shehla Raza adjourned the house till Monday morning.