As the PTI government tables the much controversial mini-budget, the Opposition created quite the chaos in the National Assembly. While opposing the mini-budget, the protest turned violent as a scuffle broke out among the lawmakers.
Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) MNA Shagufta Jumani slapped Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) lawmaker Ghazala Saifi during the National Assembly mini-budget session. Videos of the incident went viral on social media as netizens expressed shock over the incident.
Speaking to the media after the incident, Ghazala Saifi said that Jumani slapped her and even twisted her hand, adding that she received injury on her hand.
“My finger got fractured,” she said. Saifi also assured that she will take legal action against Shagufta Jumani.
Lawmakers exchange punches at the National Assembly of Pakistan during the #MiniBudget session. #MiniBudgetByPTIMF #ImranKhan #imrankhanPTI #Pakistan #PakistanZindabad #Pakistani pic.twitter.com/G7edKWHYFv
— The Pakistan Daily (@ThePakDaily) December 30, 2021
In addition to the scuffle, the Opposition also tore up the mini-budget. They chanted slogans against Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin and called him an “IMF agent” and a “traitor.”
Read more: Cabinet approves controversial mini-budget
Is Shaukat Tarin #IMF Agent. ? #NationalAssembly pic.twitter.com/1xCKl4N0NO
— Rauf Klasra (@KlasraRauf) December 30, 2021
Videos of the Opposition’s chaotic protest have been making the rounds on social media with netizens expressing disappointment at the political leaders.
Federal Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar, while sharing a video from inside the National Assembly called the behavior by the Opposition “shameful.”
Shameful behaviour by the opposition. pic.twitter.com/fDpHba9NIs
— Hammad Azhar (@Hammad_Azhar) December 30, 2021
Important to note, the Opposition expressed outrage against the mini-budget introduced by the government. According to the Opposition, the mini-budget, which proposes the withdrawal of several tax exemptions, will further make life difficult for the public.
Moreover, the Opposition thinks that the mini-budget is “Pakistan’s surrender to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).”
Speaking at the NA session, PML-N leader Khawaja Asif said: “Today, the economic sovereignty of Pakistan is being sold after gagging the people.”
Read more: IMF announces resumption of $6b program with Pakistan
Govt appeasing IMF?
The supplementary finance bill or the “mini-budget”, aims to resume the $6 billion External Fund Facility (EFF) of the IMF. To clarify, the government will tax approximately 150 goods at a rate of 17%. The income tax rate on mobile phone calls will also increase from 10% to 15%.
Meanwhile, the GST rate on cars above 1,000cc will go up to 17% and the tax on the import of electric vehicles in CBU conditions will increase from 5% to 17%. Business-to-business transactions will go up from 16.9% to 17%.
The “mini-budget” was one of the conditions of the IMF which was to be met before January 12, 2022, in order to recover more than $1 billion in installments from the Fund.
Read more: High commodity prices and IMF program