Tuesday Jun 14, 2022
LAHORE: The budget session of the Punjab Assembly for the fiscal year 2022-23 was once again called off for the second consecutive day Tuesday.
Throughout the day, news related to negotiations between the Opposition and the government kept surfacing and it was reported that PTI members of the assembly were ready to attend the session. It was, therefore, announced that the session would begin at around 10pm.
Speaker of the Punjab Assembly Chaudhry Pervez Elahi started the session, but after some time, he adjourned it till 1pm tomorrow. At the same time, Governor Punjab Muhammad Baligh Ur Rehman cancelled the ongoing 40th session of the Punjab Assembly and convened the 41st session at the Aiwan-e-Iqbal on June 15 at 3pm.
Commenting on the confusion created among assembly members regarding which session to attend, PTI MPA Mian Mehmood ur Rasheed said that the meeting convened by the governor at the Aiwan-e-Iqbal has "no constitutional status".
The session of the assembly was originally scheduled to take place on Monday, June 13, but it could not take place. Consequently, it was postponed till 1pm on Tuesday as 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 was 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, the Punjab Assembly speaker 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.