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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

NA approves “Finance Supplementary Amendment Bill 2018”

News Analysis |

The National Assembly (NA) on Wednesday approved “Finance Supplementary Amendment Bill 2018” with majority vote that was presented by the Pakistan Tehree-e-Insaf (PTI) government.

Winding up debate on Supplementary Budget proposals in the National Assembly, Finance Minister Asad Umar said that it has been decided to continue with restrictions imposed in the Federal Budget on purchase of property and vehicles by non-filers.

The minister said modern technology would be used to expand the tax net and a beginning has been made by issuing notices to 169 big non-filers. He said second phase of the campaign would also be launched this week and the number of notices would reach to thousands.

Umar, following criticism from PML-N lawmaker Ahsan Iqbal, said that it is unfair that the 40-day-old PTI government is being asked to “fix matters that were not fixed in the previous 40 years”.

PTI leader appealed to the well-to-do to pay their due taxes and contribute towards progress of the country. He gave assurances on behalf of the Prime Minister that the tax money would be utilized judiciously. Asad Umar clarified that the supplementary budgetary proposals would be effective from first of July this year. He said all development projects of Balochistan would be completed.

He also said that overseas Pakistanis and those acquiring property through inheritance would be exempted. He said those purchasing vehicles of capacity less than 200-CC would also be exempted from this restriction. He added that fine would be imposed if someone acquires property or vehicle despite being non-filer.

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Opposition Leader in the National Assembly, Shahbaz Sharif said that the PML-N government ended power shortage in the country by adding new electricity to the system.

Responding to Finance Minister Asad Umar’s winding up speech in the House, he said that credit goes to former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for brining huge Chinese investment under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. He added that PML-N had saved 160 billion rupees by installing affordable electricity projects.

The National Assembly (NA) on Wednesday approved “Finance Supplementary Amendment Bill 2018” with majority vote that was presented by the Pakistan Tehree-e-Insaf (PTI) government.

Former Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf said that PPP will welcome forensic audit of all power projects. The House unanimously adopted a resolution that National Anthem should be played after the recitation of Holy Quran and Naat on the commencement of every session of the lower house. The resolution was moved by Minister of State for Interior Shehryar Afridi.

After PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal delivered his speech, the finance minister took center stage to apprise the parliament on the challenges the country’s economy faces, which he said the amended bill will address.

Read more: Pakistan’s National Assembly passes resolution condemning blasphemous content: Difficult Questions Arise?

Umar, following criticism from PML-N lawmaker Ahsan Iqbal, said that it is unfair that the 40-day-old PTI government is being asked to “fix matters that were not fixed in the previous 40 years”.

He reminded PML-N lawmakers of the problems they faced during their reign but could not deal with. “The circular debt for just this past year was Rs 403 billion, and overall circular debt has soared to Rs 1.2 trillion. How can they say that streams of milk and honey used to flow in their reign,” the finance minister said.

Opposition Leader in the National Assembly, Shahbaz Sharif said that the PML-N government ended power shortage in the country by adding new electricity to the system.

Asad Umar also said that action has begun against those “big personalities” who have still not bothered to become tax filers. “169 such people have been issued notices,” he said. “No one should think that they will escape unscathed. This state is not so weak that it cannot catch you. Those who have considerable funds in banks, their details will be obtained,” he added.

Read more: PML-N submits a resolution in Punjab Assembly to seek inquiry into…

“You had vowed to end load-shedding, what happened of it,” Umar asked. “If Charsadda, Bannu, Swabi, Lyari, Noshki and Khuzdar are not a part of Pakistan, then your claim of  having put an end to load-shedding is true.”

Furthermore, the finance minister rejected the opposition’s suggestion of asking dam-fund donors about the source of their funds. Following Umar’s speech, voting in the NA on the amended finance bill began. The bill was passed clause by clause and the session ended.