Hina Khar becomes first Pakistani woman to present budget

June 14th, 2009 - 3:14 pm ICT by ANI  

Yousuf Raza Gilani Islamabad, June 14 (ANI): Minister of State for Finance and Economic Affairs, Hina Rabbani Khar, on Saturday became the first Pakistani woman to present a national budget, though, she found it difficult to pronounce long Urdu economic terms because of her English medium educational background.Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani’s finance adviser, Shaukat Tarin, was supposed to present the budget, but as he was not an elected member, he could not so.

Khar, Tarin’s deputy, who is an elected member of the National Assembly, was then assigned to add a distinctive chapter in the country’s financial annals, the Dawn reports.

All members of the lower house cheered Khar by desk-thumping when she rose to unveil the PPP-led coalition government’s second budget.

Khar termed her budget presentation as an ‘important milestone in women empowerment and gender equality’ after Benazir Bhutto became the Muslim world’s first Prime Minister in 1988 and Fahmida Mirza got elected as Pakistan’s first woman Speaker in 2008.

During the rest of Khar’s 65-minute speech in Urdu, Gilani, cheered her repeatedly whenever she referred to the government’s significant plans or big allocations like the salary increase for troops fighting Taliban militants.

Although, opposition members didn’t interrupt her speech, but Khar faced difficulty in pronouncing some Urdu words.

The southern Punjab MPA faced criticism from her one-time party colleagues in the PML-Q when she referred to alleged policy faults and failures of the ‘previous government’, of which she was a minister of state. (ANI)

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