NOWSHERA: The government and its allies on Monday hailed while the opposition parties assailed the district council budget for the fiscal 2017-18.
The opposition parties rejected the budget and staged walkout from the session. District Nazim Liaqat Khattak opened the debate on the budget. Convener District Council Ashfaq Ahmad Khan chaired the session.
In his opening speech to the council, Liaqat Khattak said that the district government had presented over Rs5.42 billion tax free budget. He said the government earmarked over Rs677 million for carrying out uplift work in the district. He said that more than Rs4.41 billion has been sanctioned for the salaries of government employees while Rs260.96 million were allocated for non-salary expenditure.
The nazim said that education, health, agriculture, provision of clean drinking water and welfare of youth and women were the priorities of the district government. He said that equal funds had been allocated for each and every union council of the district. Liaqat Khattak said the budget included the funds the district government saved in the previous budget allocation through its austerity measures to provide maximum relief to the people.
The district nazim urged the opposition parties to shun the politics of criticism for the sake of criticism and make positive and realistic suggestions to be included in the budget.
Criticising the opposition parties, Liaqat Khattak said that budget document was written and published in English and that was the reason the opposition councillors were unable to understand it. He asked the opposition councillors to carefully study and understand the document and then comment on the budget.
The district nazim said that Chief Minister Pervez Khattak had a special attachment with the people of his native Nowshera district and had provided 10 percent additional funds to the district council to carry out uplift work.
The councillors of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and those from its allied parties, including Haroon Khattak, Zulfiqar Khattak, Nowsher Khan, Syed Ali Shah, Israrudin, Shaukat Khan, Mian Inam, Kamal Anwar, Israr Nabi and others termed the budget balanced and people-friendly.
The opposition termed the budget jugglery of words and alleged that it had been prepared at the Chief Minister’s House. They walked out of the budget session.
Talking to reporters outside the district council hall, Malik Juma Khan and others said that Liaqat Khattak and his deputy Ashfaq Ahmad Khan lacked the experience to lead the district council and alleged that both had violated the local government rules. They said both were running the district council on their own free will and accused them of misusing the funds. They added that the district nazim did not seek annual progress report from the government department. They alleged that the district government had ignored the opposition councillors in distribution of development funds and did not consider their suggestions.