National Assembly passes federal budget
Shaukat Tarin delivering his speech.
The National Assembly Tuesday passed the federal budget with a total outlay of Rs 8.487 trillion, with around 19 percent additional allocations as compared to last year’s Rs 7.137 trillion, reported 24News HD TV cahnnel.
After over a two-week long debate, the Finance Bill 2021-22 was moved before the parliament by Finance Minister, Shaukat Tarin, which was passed with majority vote.
Some amendments in the bill proposed by the Members of National Assembly were accommodated by the house, whereas some others were rejected.
To boost the government’s ranks, Prime Minister Imran Khan was present in the session as well as former president Asif Ali Zardari and PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari.
The motion to present the federal budget was overwhelmingly adopted as the government received 172 votes while 132 Opposition lawmakers voted against it.
The Finance Bill 2021-22 has been discussed clause by clause in the House and the amendments proposed by treasury members have been accepted while those proposed by the opposition members have been turned down.
Shaukat Tarin warns against food imports
Warning that minimal spending on agriculture sector would lead to the import of food items, Federal Minister for Finance Shaukat Tarin said on Tuesday that the government would spend Rs150 billion on the sector in the next financial year (FY), 2021-22, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
Speaking at the National Assembly (NA), he said the government had introduced few amendments to the finance bill.
He told the House that currently the inflation rate stood at seven per cent. "We don’t just talk, but deliver,” he said, and added, “The targets we have set in the budget, we will achieve those targets.”
Blaming the opposition for creating the circumstances that forced the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government to approach the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the finance minister said, “You (the opposition) had left behind the budget deficit of $20 billion in 2018 when we came to power which led to our decision to borrow loan from the Fund.”
He made it clear that those deliberately not paying taxes would be arrested at all costs.
Khurshid Shah predicts big scandal over health cards distribution
PPP leader Khurshid Shah addressing the National Assembly said that distribution of health cards will solve the problems and in future there would be a big scandal of health cards, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
Shah said he would try to talk only on the budget and not on the differences and appealed to make the budget pro-people. Khurshid Shah said that Pakistan is linked with the parliament and he expressed his sorrow over what occurred in the Lower House of the parliament in recent days.
“Today, the inflation has reached its peak,” the senior PPP leader said. “I am also sorrowful that Pakistan has come out of the grey-list of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF),” Khurshid Shah said.
Khurshid Shah alleged that the government has imposed new taxes of 1200 billion and yet claimed to present a tax-free budget. “If you want to know about how the economy is working you can access it by people’s prosperity,” the PPP leader said.
It is relevant to note that National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser last week issued production orders for two detained opposition members enabling them to attend the ongoing budget session from Monday.
The speaker issued the production orders for Pakistan People’s Party MNA from Sukkur Syed Khurshid Ahmed Shah and independent MNA from erstwhile tribal areas Ali Wazir.
Bilawal asks PPP MPs to give tough time to govt
National budget for the financial year, 2021-22 came up under discussion at a breakfast hosted by Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari in the honour of members of parliament belonging to PPP at Sindh House, Islamabad on Tuesday, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
Sources told 24News that Bilawal directed those in attendance to give tough time to the government during the budget session.
He instructed PPP members of the parliament to point out ‘anti-people’ points in the budget in their speeches.
During the get together, MPs made the observation that no other party was as vocal as was PPP during the budget session.
However, speaking to the party chairman, PPP MPs regretted that while he remained present in the National Assembly throughout the session, Leader of the Opposition Shehbaz Sharif did not.
They were of the view that the absence of Shehbaz at a time when the budget was to be passed could prove detrimental for the opposition.
Former president and PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari also attended the function.
However, party leaders namely Ayaz Shah Shirazi and Mir Ghulam Ali Talpure stayed away on account of being coronavirus positive.
Reporters Usman Javed Malik and Muhammad Kamran