Pakistan Muslim League (PML) senior leader Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi has criticised the provincial budget, and said that funds allocated for agriculture, education and health will also be eaten up by Orange Line Train.
He expressed these views while addressing a press conference along with MPAs Amir Sultan Cheema, Vickas Hassan Mokal and Ahmad Shah Khagga as well as Dr Azeemuddin Lakhvi at his residence. He said that despite flood of taxes in every sector historical deficit of Rs 114 billion is ample proof of their inefficiency and failure, during our tenure development funds utilistion was 98 per cent whereas they have only utilised 50 per cent of the development budget.
He said that in the new budget Rs 124 billion will be paid as interest and loans whereas despite payment of loans of their tenure, our every budget was tax free and surplus, all including farmers, traders and industrialists are worried about the new budget because it will bring flood of unemployment and price hike.
Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi said that social sector is not the government’s priority, and in the budget for outgoing financial year Rs 24 billion were allocated for health against which only Rs 3 billion were spent, Lahore High Court (LHC) has also remarked that Punjab government is not paying any attention to health sector and all funds are being dumped on Orange Line Train, and likewise only 10 per cent of the budget meant for schools has been utilised and the rest spent on metro bus and orange line, provision of free medicines in government hospitals is stopped for quite some time, and donations are being sought for 1122 and its funds are being stopped, hospitals and laboratories are being leased out on contract, heart patients are being given one year later date for check up in Punjab Cardiology Institute, patients are lying on the floors, four children are lying in every bed in Children Hospital, neither incubators not ventilators are there. He said if our 200 beds hospital in Layyah and Fatehpur Trauma Centre were functional then who died after eating poisonous “mithai” could have been saved.
Ch Pervaiz Elahi said that our mega projects in health sector including Fatima Jinnah Institute of Dental Sciences cost Rs 2. 78 billion, Punjab Institute of Neurosurgery General Hospital Lahore cost Rs 5 billion, Surgical Tower Mayo Hospital cost Rs 2 billion, up-gradation of Radiation in Services Hospital Lahore cost Rs 1 billion, and burn Centre in Jinnah Hospital Lahore cost Rs 1. 2 billion are not being made functional for last eight years while about thousand patients of the area have died due to our established Wazirabad Institute of Cardiology not being functional.
He pointedly stated that jangla buses in the Punjab in Lahore and Rawalpindi are running in loss and so far subsidy of Rs 100 billion has been paid for these jangla buses whereas annual subsidy of Orange Line is estimated at Rs 16 billion, new Punjab budget is in reality is the budget of orange line and payment of loans, Orange Line has swallowed entire budget of Punjab, its Rs 87 billion budget is even more than total allocated funds for up-gradation of hospitals, provision of neat and clean water, improvement of police and law enforcing agencies, energy and transport, it is a matter of height of injustice that on one hand Rs 5 billion have been allocated for transport for whole of Punjab and on the hand Rs 87 billion have been allocated for few kilometres of orange line train in Lahore city.
Elahi said that total debt of Punjab is Rs 620 billion whereas the amount of interest on payment of loans annually has crossed Rs 124 billion, there was no loan on Punjab during our tenure and even 2007 budget was surplus of Rs 100 billion.
He said Rs 50 billion Kisan Package is also meant for fraud with the farmers, this in fact is the package for showering favours on the PML-N workers.
He said expenses on agriculture in Pakistan is 40 per cent more than rest of the world because till relief is given in the cost of electricity and diesel, its cost cannot be reduced, in view of this we had given real Kisan Package and Punjab government paid 50 per cent of the cost of electricity for the farmers. He said their first Kisan Package had been taken away by patwaris and N-League parliamentarians, if our link roads were repaired and rehabilitated regularly then the situation would not have been this bad today.