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Parliamentarians term budget pro-poor, growth-oriented

The National Assembly continued discussion on the budget for next fiscal year.

Participating in the debate, Rasheed Ahmad Khan expressed the confidence that the coalition government will steer the country out of crises and put it on the path of development.

Agha Rafiullah said poor fishermen of the coastal belt should be made part of Benazir Income Support Program.

He also proposed to increase the EOBI’s pension.

Dr Mukhtar Ahmad said political stability is a must to ensure sustainable economic growth. He said the governance structure needs to be improved to take the country in the right direction.

Fehmida Mirza said the tax to GDP ratio should be enhanced by bringing more people into the tax net. She said those who are already paying taxes should not be overburdened. She said all the political parties will have to sit together in the national interest to tackle the current economic challenge.

Shahida Akhtar Ali said the government should focus on tapping the country’s natural resources and uplifting the agriculture sector by using the latest technology to achieve self-reliance.

Ahmad Raza Maneka said the budget envisages measures to strengthen economy and reduce the hardship of weak segments of the society.

Dr Samina Matloob said an effort has been made in the budget to provide relief to the people.

She stressed for bolstering exports to address the country’s economic woes.

Others, who spoke on the occasion, include Naveed Ahmed Jeeva, Muhammad Khan Daha and Mahar Irshad Ahmad Khan.

The House will now meet again on Friday at 10:30am.

Meanwhile, the Senate on Thursdayunanimously adopted various recommendations furnished by the Senate Standing Committee on Finance for incorporation in the Finance Bill 2022-23.

The recommendations were moved by the committee Chairman Senator Saleem Mandviwalla.

Twenty-seven recommendations were related to the money bill, while 217 others were about the Public Sector Development Programme.

These recommendations include, withdrawal of seventeen percent sales tax on purchase of pharmaceutical raw material, zero tax duty on import of goods for charitable hospitals and other non-profit making institutions, exemption of Federal Excise Duty to newly merged districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and enhancing Federal Excise Duty on natural gas from ten rupees to twenty rupees per MMBTU.

The Upper House of the parliament also recommended number of infrastructure schemes which include establishment of a campus of Gomal University at South Waziristan, construction of official residences for Chairman Senate in the Minister’s enclave, Mega Water Supply scheme for Hinglaj Mandir and Naani Mandir in Lasbella district, Installation of Sewerage treatment plants in Islamabad, and construction of Sargodha-Tiarza road. It also proposed extension of scholarship program and provision of higher education opportunities for the students of Balochistan and erstwhile tribal areas, up-gradation of agriculture and livestock research system in all agriculture universities of Pakistan.

Winding up discussion on the budget for the next fiscal year in the Senate, Minister of State for Finance Dr Aisha Ghaus Pasha said the government has announced a substantial cut in its expenditure.

She said efforts are being made to reduce the budget deficit and we should all join hands to steer the country out of the current difficult situation.

She said subsidy is being given on five essential items, including sugar, ghee, wheat flour, and pulses to provide relief to the poor.

Dr Aisha Ghaus Pasha also assured the House that due consideration will be given to the recommendations it has made regarding the Budget 2022-23.

Later, the Senate session was prorogued.

Source: Radio Pakistan

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