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Punjab Government fails to present budget as opposition protests

LAHORE: The Punjab Assembly’s budget session for the fiscal year 2022-23 has been postponed till 1 pm Tuesday.  

The budget could not be presented in the assembly on Monday after hours of delay as the Opposition and the treasury benches continued protesting against each other.

The budget session was scheduled to begin at 2pm but started after several hours of delay. Once it started, the Opposition benches protested the presence of Punjab government spokesperson Attaullah Tarar in the assembly, as he is not a member. 

“We will not let the budget be presented till [Chief Minister] Hamza Shahbaz is present in the house, while the inspector-general and chief secretary are sitting in the gallery,” the Opposition said.

Following the Opposition’s protest, Punjab Assembly Speaker Pervaiz Elahi demanded the house’s guards escort Tarar out of the assembly and adjourned the session for 10 minutes.

Elahi — who lost the contest for the chief minister’s slot last month against Hamza Shahbaz — said that if Tarar was not out of the building within 10 minutes, he would adjourn the session till tomorrow.

After the break, the session resumed with Elahi in the chair, while Tarar exited the assembly in “protest”.

Amid all the drama, the finance bill could not be presented.

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