LAHORE - The Punjab Assembly witnessed complete chaos on Monday as the Opposition strongly protested against exorbitant hike in the prices of petroleum products. The House witnessed ugly scenes of legislators standing up and chanting full throat slogans against the present regime. The legislators from across the political divide accused each other for the prevailing economic conditions.

Opening discussion on supplementary budget for the year ending 30 June (today), PPP parliamentary leader Syed Hassan Murtaza regretted that whenever the prime minister took notice of increase of price of any commodity, it led to further hike in the rate and shortage of the product.

He referred to statements issued on behalf of PM Imran Khan announcing that he had taken notice of the increase in rates of medicines, sugar, wheat flour, etc., but regrettably each of the statement further deteriorated the situation instead of the solving the problem.

He said the PM had talked of dealing with the mafia strictly but, in fact, he came down to pleading with the same mafias.

He said that earlier all the Punjab budget used to be spent for Lahore and since Usman Buzdar became the chief minister all the funds were being allocated for DG Khan leaving nothing for other districts.

As former speaker Rana Iqbal took the floor and talked of exorbitant hike in oil prices, PML-N legislators stood from their seats and began chanting slogans of ‘sugar thief’, ‘flour thief’, ‘petrol thief’, and ‘Go Niazi Go’. Legislators capturing videos of protest on cell phones irritated Deputy Speaker Dost Mazari who ruled that these infringed upon privilege of the House.

He then referred the matter to an inquiry committee on demand by Law Minister Basharat Raja who sought to investigate how the opposition did smuggle placards into the house and made a video of the protest.

PTI’s Uzma Kardar said the opposition didn’t know how to read the budget documents.

Defending the supplementary grants for various departments, she said these were meant for development and restoration of the departments unlike the PML-N, which used to seek extra funds for foreign tours, personal staff and renovation of their houses.

PTI’s Abida Raja said the Sharifs would come to Murree only to enjoy luxuries there. She alleged that Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif stole woods from Murree forest for their palaces. She said the PML-N, when it power, patronized land grabbers as lands of the people were seized by making the youth of the area drug addicts.

PML-N’s Kanwal Liaquat said that 70 to 80 per cent of the police budget went to payment of salaries, etc. and only five per cent is left for operational purpose and thus justice-seekers fail to get any help from the department.

PML-N ‘s Hina Pervaiz Butt demanded practical steps for curbing kite flying and directing the police to launch a strict action against the violators of the kite-flying ban.

On completion of agenda, the chair adjourned the session till Tuesday (today) at 2pm.