President to address parliament on June 4
By Syed Irfan Raza | 5/16/2015

ISLAMABAD: President Mamnoon Hussain will address a joint sitting of parliament on June 4 and the government will announce its third federal budget on June 5.

According to a summary approved by the president on Friday, he summoned a joint session of parliament on June 4 for the address to meet the constitutional requirement for such a session each year.

Through a separate summary, the president summoned the budget session of the National Assembly on June 5 where Finance Minister Ishaq Dar will present the budget.

According to the president`s spokesman, on summaries sent by the parliamentary affairs ministry, President Hussain approved the prime minister`s advice for summoning the joint sitting of parliament on June 4 at 11am and the budget session on June 5 at 4.30pm.

PRESIDENT`S ADDRESS: Sources said the president would address parliament in Urdu and highlight the two year performance of the government.

Some opposition parties, including the PML-Q and Pakistan Tehreek-iInsaf (PTI), are likely to lodge protest against the government during the presidential address. However, members of main opposition PPP are unlikely to join them.

Under Article 56 of the Constitution, every parliamentary year begins on March 17 and the president has to address a joint sitting of both houses of parliament on its commencement.

Last year, the president addressed a joint sitting of parliament on June 2.

The sources said he was likely to highlight the multi-billion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (PCEC) project and a fresh spate of terrorism in the country.

He is also expected to give some guideline to the government as the head of the state.

The session is likely to be attended by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the provincial governors and chief ministers, federal ministers and the three services chiefs. Foreign diplomats and representatives of the civil society have also been invited.

BUDGET 2015-16: The PML-N government will announce its third federal budget on June 5 and it is expected that the government employees` salaries will be increased by 10 per cent.

It is expected that special allocations will be made for military operation Zarb-i-Azb against terrorists that will increase total expenditure on the operation to Rs180 billion. The finance minister said recently that Rs45 billion had been spent on the operation that started in mid2014.

The next year`s normal allocation for defence budget would be around Rs770bn. According to an official, the subsidy allocations would be scaled down to Rs150bn from Rs203bn earmarked for the current fiscal year. This curtailment would mainly come through power sector tariff adjustments.

Published in Dawn