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National Assembly turns into fighting arena as Govt. tables mini-budget

National Assembly turned into the fighting arena on Thursday as the PTI-led government tabled a mini-budget regarded as the Supplementary Finance Bill 2021.

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.

Federal Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin presented the much-opposed supplementary finance bill. The Finance Amendment Bill 2021 was approved during the NA session despite the opposition members’ protests, paving way for a mini-budget.

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan tabled a motion to suspend the rules to present the mini-budget.

National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaisar gave the ruling that amendments to the Finance Bill will not be sent to the Standing Committee.

The NA presented scenes of a fighting arena as the opposition members raised an uproar and besieged the dais of the speaker.

Members of the opposition also displayed posters inscribed with slogans against the government.

As the finance bill was being presented, during all the ruckus PPP’s Shagufta Jamani slapped PTI’s Ghazala Saifi.

Details of Supplementary Finance Bill 2021 (Mini-Budget)

 

According to the bill, the government will impose a tax on approximately 150 goods at a rate of 17%.

As per the development, the goods that were currently either completely exempt from General Sales Tax (GST) or being taxed at 5% to 12% rates would now be taxed at 17%.

  • The income tax rate on mobile phone calls will increase from 10% to 15%.
  • It was also proposed that imported meat and poultry items should be exempted from tax.
  • 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%.
  • Zero-rating available on supplies of raw materials for imported milk would be withdrawn and be taxed at 17%.
  • Duty-free shops will be taxed at 17%. As they will be taxed for the first time, there are no revenue estimates.
  • The finance bill also proposes that bread prepared in bakeries, restaurants, food chains, and shops be taxed at a 17% rate.
  • Sales tax on prepared foodstuff and sweetmeats supplied by restaurants, bakeries, and sweet shops will increase to 17%.
  • Goods received as gifts from a foreign government or organization will be taxed at 17%.
  • Cottonseed is proposed to be taxed at 17% GST. Meanwhile, the bill proposed increasing the tax on machinery for the poultry sector from 7% to 17%.
  • The GST on silver and gold will increase from 1% to 17%, while tax will be imposed on computers and laptops.
  • Raw material for medicines will be taxed at 17% GST.

During Thursday’s session, The House adopted different resolutions extending various Ordinances for a period of 120 days.

These Ordinances include:

  • The Federal Government Properties Management Authority Ordinance, 2021
  • The Elections (Third Amendment) Ordinance, 2021
  • The Public Properties (Removal of Encroachment) Ordinance, 2021
  • The Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (Amendment) Ordinance, 2021
  • The Pakistan Food Security Flow and Information Ordinance, 2021
  • The Tax Laws (Third Amendment) Ordinance, 2021
Saman Siddiqui

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