Home Latest News PPP, PMLN Head toward Détente after Budget Rift

PPP, PMLN Head toward Détente after Budget Rift

P.M. Sharif assures PPP’s Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari of resolution of complaints, as coalition ally pledges to help passage of finance bill

by Staff Report

File photo

The PPP and PMLN appeared to be heading toward a truce on Thursday after Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif met PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and assured him of speedy resolution to reservations on various matters related to the finance bill.

Earlier this month, ties between the ruling coalition partners hit a snag after the PPP decided to boycott the presentation of the finance bill in the National Assembly, ostensibly over not being consulted on various matters. The development saw several meetings between leaders of both parties, with the PPP claiming it desired “political space” in Punjab and consultations over budgetary decisions.

In a bid to resolve the situation, P.M. Sharif and Bilawal met in Islamabad on Thursday. Reportedly, the PPP leader informed the premier about his party’s concerns, particularly with regards to various projects in the PPP-ruled Sindh province, which the party believes it should be consulted on. Sharif, meanwhile, reiterated an invite for the PPP to join the federal cabinet, though any final decision on the matter remains pending.

According to local media, Bilawal lamented over the PMLN’s failure to implement an “agreement” inked between the two parties prior to the formation of government. A key issue was the PMLN-led Punjab government not accepting PPP lawmakers’ demands for postings and transfers. Sharif, per reports, agreed to resolve a majority of complaints and formed various committees to do so. In response, Bilawal has reportedly agreed to support the federal government in the passage of the federal budget.

Sharif’s delegation during the meeting comprised federal ministers Ishaq Dar, Rana Sanaullah, Attaullah Tarar, Ali Pervaiz Malik and Muhammad Aurangzeb, as well as PMLN leader Khawaja Saad Rafique. From the PPP, Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, Khursheed Shah, Yousaf Raza Gilani, Naveed Qamar and Sherry Rehman accompanied Bilawal.

According to an official statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office, Sharif informed Bilawal he believed the budget would bring some relief to the poor and sought the cooperation of all allied parties. “The prime minister highlighted that the macroeconomic indicators with regard to the country’s economy were showing encouraging growth while a historic boom in the stock market was the endorsement of the government’s budget by the business community,” it said.

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