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Zardari says Sindh will present budget for three months; federal budget has no legal basis

ISLAMABAD: Former president Asif Ali Zardari on Friday said it was pointless to comment on the federal budget which has no legal and political basis. He also said the Sindh government will present budget for three months.

“It is pointless to comment on the budget, an exercise that has no legal, moral and political basis but seems driven solely by greed and political ambition,” he said responding to the Federal Budget 2018-19 presented in the National Assembly by newly-elected Finance Minister Miftah Ismail despite opposition of the three federating units of the federation.

Read More: Shah Mehmood lashes out at govt for presenting budget for one year

He said that viewing the correct, moral and legal position, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) had decided to present Sindh budget only for three months and asked why the federal government insisted on presenting budget for the entire year when it would no longer be in power after two months.

“Is it the temptation of Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) projects worth hundreds of billions and the huge commission involved in them (which made them announce this budget),” he asked.

Zardari warned that ignoring the provinces in the PSDP formulation will only alienate the provinces and undermine the federation.

“Seldom before a government in Islamabad has been so insensitive to the concerns of the federating units,” he said.

Miftah Ismail has announced the federal budget for the fiscal year 2018-19 with a total outlay of Rs 5.9 trillion as against Rs4.75 trillion for the outgoing year.

Earlier, Leader of the Opposition in National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah on Friday said that the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) government had not right to present the year-long budget for the financial year 2018-19 at a time when its tenure was about to end.

Speaking on the floor of the assembly, Shah said: “The incumbent government’s tenure is going to end on Mary 31 and there are no two opinions in this regard. The government should have presented a budget for one quarter for the interim period until the next government comes into power after the general elections.”

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