National Assembly continuing discussion on the new federal budget

Islamabad: The National Assembly Tuesday continued the debate on the budget 2014-15.Taking part in the discussion, Minister for Commerce Khurram Dastgir said Pakistan is open for business despite all the difficulties and challenges it is faced with.

The Minister said several projects have been launched across the country to overcome the electricity crisis.

He said the LNG terminal will also be shortly inaugurated to address the issue of gas shortages.

He said process has also been started to boost trade relations with India, Iran and Afghanistan.

Maulana Jamaluddin said development schemes should also be announced for the Tribal areas to bring them at par with the developed ones.

Syed Mustafa Mahmood said the government should encourage savings by reducing the inflation rate.

Maryam Aurangzeb said though the health is a provincial subject yet the federal government has allocated money for the first time in the domain of mother and child health care.

Meanwhile,responding to a point of order, Minister for Religious Affairs, Sardar Muhammad Yousaf said Quran Boards are being established at all the four provinces as part of efforts to promote the teachings of Holy Quran.

He said he has recently held a meeting with the concerned provincial ministers in this regard.

The Punjab government has already established the Quran Board while the other provinces are in the process of legislation to constitute the same boards.

Mujahid Ali said the government should give priority to address the issue of load shedding. He said the government should arrange camps and provide ration to the Internally Displaced People of North Waziristan.

Abdul Rashid Godail asked the government to increase the ratio of direct taxes to give relief to the common man. Terming the ten percent adhoc relief for employees as meager he said basic salaries should be enhanced so that the employees should also get benefit in their allowances.

Nawab Muhammad Yousaf Talpur asked the government to set realistic target of revenue collection besides allocating sufficient amount for the ongoing and new development schemes. He said both the federal and provincial governments should take steps to address the grievances of minorities.

Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman opposed the military operation in North Waziristan saying the use of force is not solution to any problem.

He said the experiments of operations have failed in the past and we do not see that North Waziristan operation will bring peace to the country.

He said the Waziristan operation has forced the local people to migrate to Afghanistan. Many people are stranded in the area due to the imposition of curfew. He feared that the continuation of operation might result in the deaths of innocent civilians.

Maulana Fazlur Rehman said the government should pursue the course of dialogue by evolving a serious mechanism in this regard. He said that his party JUI (F) has always supported peace efforts while rejecting militancy and Talibanisation.

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