imageLAHORE: The Punjab Assembly members have termed provincial Budget 2016-17 balanced and farmer-friendly and presentation of such a unique budget is a big achievement of the PML-N government.

Taking part in the general discussion on the Punjab Budget 2016-17 on Tuesday, legislators said that Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif had won the hearts of farmers by offering unprecedented relief and incentives to the agriculture sector in the budget.

“A historic package has been given for development of the agriculture sector and prosperity of growers," they said, adding that farming community would benefit from substantial decrease in Urea and DAP fertilizers' prices.

Earlier, the session commenced with Speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal in the chair. Soon after recitation from the Holy Quran, Jama'at-e-Islami parliamentary leader Dr Wasim Akhtar put forward some positive suggestion in his opening remarks for including them in the provincial budget.

Treasury members Shomaila Aslam, Zulfiqar Ghouri, Haji Omer Zafar, welcoming the budget, said it was quite balanced and pro-poor in which interests of all segments of society were protected. They said Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, like in the previous years, had given maximum relief to the common man.

They hoped that reduction in power tariff, and prices of fertilizers, pesticides and other agri inputs would help farmers attain high yields.

MPA Hina Pervaiz Butt described the budget as public-friendly. She said main emphasis had been laid on education, health and agriculture.

Sheikh Allauddin suggested significant allocation for transgender community in the budget beside fixation of job quota for them. “Eunuchs are part of society and they should be given proper status instead of hating them," he said. He also called for achieving two-billion-tree plantation target in the province.

Mehwish Sultana applauded Rs 550 billion Annual Development Plan (ADP) and said Rs 56 billion allocation for higher education would help raise education standard in the province.

Asif Mehmood under-scored the need to ensure fair and transparent utilisation of development funds.

Opposition members — Nabeela Hakim Ali, Sohaib Siddiqui and Saadia Sohail Rana — also took part in the general discussion.

On completion of day's agenda, acting speaker Sardar Sher Ali Gorchani adjourned the session till next day (Wednesday) morning.

Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2016