Islamabad (Staff Report): The National Assembly on Tuesday, in the absence of members of the opposition, approved the federal budget FY2017-18 with a Rs 4.75 trillion.

This is the first time that a finance bill has been passed in Pakistan without the inclusion of the opposition in the assembly.

 Since the opposition was not present during the proceedings, all cut motions against the bill were dropped.

The bill was passed after Leader of the Opposition Syed Khurshid Shah gave a statement on the floor and then proceeded to walk out of the assembly with the other members of the opposition.

Concluding the discussion session on the budget, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar noted that out of the 276 recommendations made by the Senate, 75 had been partially or wholly approved while 137 recommendations had been sent to the planning commission.

The finance minister exclaimed that some elements had suggested that the budget held no worth without a date set for the National Finance Commission (NFC) award.