PPP recants decision to boycott federal budget session

Earlier, Bilawal-led party expressed displeasure for not being included in budget consultations

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Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif speaks as PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari looks on. — AFP/File

  • PPP slams PML-N for not taking it into confidence over budget.
  • Ishaq Dar convinces party to ensure attendace as it is key ally.
  • Only few PPP lawmakers attend budget session as token attendance.

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) on Wednesday recanted its decision to boycott the federal budget 2024-25 session in the National Assembly as the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) managed to convince its major ally.

Deputy Prime Minister Senator Ishaq Dar held multiple meetings with the PPP’s top leaders to convince them to attend the federal budget session which seemingly remained successful.

Following the consensus, some PPP leaders went into the session as a "token attendance". 

Ahead of the announcement of federal budget 2024-25, the PPP — a key political ally of the ruling PML-N — announced not to attend the budget session.

PPP Information Secretary Shazia Marri confirmed the major decision taken by the Bilawal-led party while talking to Geo News ahead of the federal budget for FY25.

She said that PPP lawmakers will not attend the budget session and urged the ruling Nawaz-led party to fulfil the contents of the agreement made with her party.

Marri complained that her party was not consulted on Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) by the PML-N-led federal government. 

She added that the party lawmakers expressed serious reservations for not being included in the budget-related consultations by the federal government.

Sources closer to the PPP told Geo News that the PPP lawmakers recommended not to attend the budget session in a parliamentary party’s session chaired by Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari — a crucial occasion when the coalition government is going to unveil its direction for bringing the country out of severe financial crisis.

However, the Bilawal-led party has also not fully stepped back from supporting Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif-led administration in the Centre and decided to “provide maximum support to the PML-N to pass the budget and vote in its favour despite all reservations”, the sources added.

It was also learnt that the PPP lawmakers will assist the federal government to pass the budget despite lodging protests and delivering speeches over the weak sections of the federal budget in the Parliament.

The sources said that the PML-N government assured its major ally to make the latter’s recommendations part of the budget.