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Sindh Assembly approves budget 2013-14 amid opposition boycott

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KARACHI: The Sindh Assembly on Saturday approved the finance bill and provincial budget for the year 2013-14 with a total outlay of Rs 6.17 trillion amidst boycott of opposition to register protest against increase in property tax and levy of other urban-centric taxes.

The Muttahida Qaumi Movement and other opposition parties boycotted the session in protest.

Parliamentary leader of the MQM, Syed Sardar Ahmed, stood on a point of order and said his party strongly opposes the raise in property tax and general sales tax on services.

The MQM leader said that the increase in tax on property amounted to oppressing citizens from the urban areas. Later, the party leader announced a walkout of the session.

Lawmakers belonging to all other opposition parties, including the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan Muslim League – Functional (PML-F), and the Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI) also staged a walkout from the house and did not return until the end of the session.

In the absence of the opposition parties, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP)-dominated Sindh Assembly passed the Sindh Finance Bill 2013-14 with the majority vote of treasury benches, adopting the provincial budget for the fiscal year 2013-14.

Regretting the boycott by opposition members, Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah congratulated the House, and announced three-month salary as bonus for the employees of Finance and Law departments as well as the Sindh Assembly Secretariat.

Later, Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani prorogued the house sine die.

Asad Haroon
A netpreneur, blogger and above all; A Human :) Asad tweets from @aghaasadharoon and can also be approached on Google+

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