BY OUR CORRESPONDENT
GILGIT: Leader of the opposition in Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) legislative assembly Shah Baig on Sunday said they wouldn’t let G-B’s annual budget pass in the assembly if it lacked input from elected representatives.
Baig’s comments, which came days ahead of the annual budget 2016-17, is considered as a reflection of wishes of lawmakers who find themselves bypassed by the strong bureaucracy in preparation of development schemes in the region.
“The government must arrange a pre-budget session to have lawmakers’ say in the budget,” Baig told reporters in Gilgit, amidst threats of blocking passage of the budget whose total outlay is around 35 million.
Baig accused chief minister of being subservient to bureaucracy, saying Rehman tries to safeguard interest of secretaries instead of public.
“He is subservient to a few secretaries who prepare the budget document without consulting the lawmakers.”
The opposition leader, who is from Diamer district in G-B, said if budget passed without lawmakers’ input that would be tantamount to insult to the house.
“Rs6 billion will lapse in June due to government’s inefficiency as no development projects have been completed this year,” said Baig, a senior leader of JUI-F who became the opposition leader last year through a draw. “It seems Rehman is accountable to secretaries than the public.”
Meanwhile chief minister said out of the total Rs10 billion development budget, over Rs7billion have been spent on the development projects while the remaining would be spent by end of the fiscal year.
“but if there is any money unutilized, it wouldn’t lapse but will be utilized next year,” Rehman was quoted as saying during a meeting on Saturday.
The chief minister said his government completed 242 projects left incomplete by the previous government of PPP. At the same time, he said work on another 100 projects was initiated for the welfare of public.