ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly on Monday passed the Finance Bill 2020 to approve the budgetary proposals for the next fiscal year.
Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar had presented the Rs7.14 trillion budget for fiscal 2020-21 on June 12. The Lower House deliberated on the bill before it was put to vote and ultimately passed.
Prime Minister Imran Khan arrived at the session where the clause-wise amendments to the Finance Bill began in order to sail it through the House. As the process began, the NA speaker Asad Qaiser said that any amendment to remove an entire clause will not be acceptable.
The opposition has rejected the federal budget and vowed to not let the Finance Bill sail through. Federal Minister for Information Shibli Faraz had earlier said the federal budget will be approved and the PTI will put ensure it. He had said that the opposition will get over its misconceptions about the budget in time.
Addressing the National Assembly, Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar said the government has presented a tax-free budget that envisages relief measures not only for the construction sector but also for the promotion of mobile phone manufacturing and electric vehicles.
READ MORE: No new taxes imposed in Budget 2020-21: Hammad Azhar
He said duties and taxes on import of sixteen hundred raw materials have been brought to zero. He said it is the first time that the annual development plan carries the biggest allocations for Balochistan and Sindh.
The minister clarified that the government has not increased the sales tax or petroleum development levy on petroleum products. He said their prices have been increased keeping in view the upward trend in the international oil market. He said mafias in oil, sugar and flour will be brought to justice.
Responding to the point of PML-N parliamentary leader Khawaja Asif, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said no COVID-19 positive member has been invited to attend the proceedings today.
Khawaja Asif said the government should provide relief to the masses and regretted the increase in the prices of petroleum products. Qureshi said that forty hours were fixed for debate on the budgetary proposals but the members held discussion for more than the allotted time.
READ MORE: Budget 2020-21 focuses on providing relief to people: Hafeez Shaikh
Speaking in the National Assembly, the foreign minister said Prime Minister Imran Khan will not resign as he has the mandate of the people and enjoys the confidence of the parliament. He said the PTI will not make any compromise on its ideology and stand by the ideology of Imran Khan.
PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari criticised the government for increasing the prices of petroleum products saying it will add to the woes of the masses and lead to price hike. He said the aim should be providing relief to the people rather than increase in the prices of flour, sugar and medicines.
Minister for Communications Murad Saeed rejected the remarks made by PPP Chairman against the coronavirus strategy and said European countries were now also adopting smart lockdown policy.
The minister said the present government gave the historic Ehsaas Program and enhanced its allocations to over Rs200 billon while the Sehat Insaf card scheme is providing free of cost medical treatment.