January 13, 2022: The National Assembly on Thursday passed the Finance (Supplementary) Bill, 2021 by majority vote with certain government amendments amid opposition parties’ sloganeering.
All the amendments moved by the opposition parties including Pakistan Peoples Party and Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz had been rejected with the majority vote.
The speaker ordered the vote-count for two times, during which the parliamentarians voted by standing from their seats. The both times opposition parties faced defeat with 150-168 and 146-163 votes in the presence of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
PPPP President Asif Ali Zardari and President PML-N and Leader of the Opposition Shehbaz Sharif were also present in the House when the treasury bench knocked down opposition’s amendments with majority votes.
Minister for Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs Shaukat Tarin said the government had decided not to withdraw exemptions of taxes on basic items such as milk, bakery items, laptop, baby food and solar panels.
The minister said the finance supplementary bill, 2021 was aimed at documenting the country’s economy.
He said the country had Rs 20 trillion worth of retail market out of which only Rs 3.5 trillion sales were documented which was alarming.
“We will have to document our economy to achieve our tax to GDP ratio target of 18 to 20% as until it is not achieved, we will not be able to maintain our fiscal balance,” he added.
He pointed out that there is unprecedented growth of 35 percent in revenue collection.
He said remittances and exports are also witnessing growth. There has been bumper production of five crops because of the government’s investment in the agriculture sector.
He said the government is providing health cards to the households under which each family is entitled to medical treatment worth one million rupees annually.
He said the government has launched the Kamyab Pakistan Programme under which interest free loans are being given for agriculture and businesses besides construction of houses.
The House held debate on the bill during the last two days (January 11 and January 12) and passed it after considering the recommendations of the Senate forwarded to the National Assembly.
Sixteen lawmakers from the Opposition benches and 10 MNAs from treasury benches participated in debate on this bill for five hours and 15 minutes and two hours and 37 minutes, respectively.
The opposition protested during the process of passage of the bill, however, it was passed by the House with majority vote.
The Finance (Supplementary) Bill, 2021 (mini-budget) aims to give legislative effect to the taxation proposals of the federal government to achieve efficiency, equity in the tax system, broadening of tax base as well as documentation of the economy.