This photo shows the interior view of the Sindh Assembly during a session. — APP/File

The Sindh Assembly has passed the provincial budget for the fiscal year 2024-25 (FY25), rejecting all proposals from opposition lawmakers, who, as a protest turned the budget session into a pandemonium.

The budget, with a staggering total outlay of Rs3.056 trillion, includes recommendations for developmental expenditures totalling Rs959 billion.

The finance bill, crucial for outlining the financial framework for the upcoming year, was moved and approved with a majority vote despite strong disapproval from the angry opposition members, as all of their proposals were rejected.

As a result of this thumbs-down treatment from the ruling alliance, opposition lawmakers stood up from their benches, ripped up copies of the Finance Bill, and stormed out of the assembly hall.

During the assembly session chaired by Speaker Syed Owais Qadir Shah on Friday, opposition members presented a large number of cut motions against various budgetary demands, all of which were shot down by the treasury benches.

Sindh anticipates revenues of Rs3 trillion according to budgetary projections, with 62% expected to come from federal transfers and 22% from provincial receipts.

The provincial assembly has also greenlit Rs142.5 billion for public sector investments.

Opposition lawmakers had also been demanding that the bill be approved in a phased manner.

Meanwhile, Ali Khurshidi, the opposition leader in the Sindh Assembly, came down hard on the government for “railroading” the finance bill through the house by solely focusing on taxation issues of two departments.

“The Sindh finance bill was passed without paying any heed to the proposals presented by the opposition,” Ali Khurshidi lamented during a media talk.

The Sindh government itself admitted to its failure in meeting revenue targets, the opposition leader said.

“Professional taxes are being increased in hospitals. This will lead to a significant rise in school fees and doctors’ charges,” he added.

“There is no hope from Sindh’s budget,” Khurshidi said adding the government had been running like this since the beginning and would continue to do so in the same manner.

On Thursday, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah concluded the debate on the provincial budget for 2024-25, highlighting the provincial government’s priorities, upcoming projects, and the economic, political, and social situation of the province.

A total of 131 members from both sides of the aisle in the 168-member House participated in the discussion on the provincial budget, which took place in a congenial atmosphere.

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