Islamabad:The government has convened the National Assembly session on Monday (today) to present amendments relating to taxes and duties as the Finance (Supplementary) Bill, 2021, generally known as mini-budget.
The approval of the finance bill is necessary to ensure Pakistan’s sixth review of the $6 billion Extended Fund Facility gets cleared by the IMF’s Executive Board which is scheduled to meet on January 12 to decide the disbursement of about $1bn tranche.
Days after Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin introduced two bills in the assembly to give effect to the Rs375 billion mini-budget and grant autonomy to the central bank, NA’s agenda issued on Sunday shows that he would move the bill to amend certain laws pertaining to taxes and duties in Monday’s session. The placement of the government’s proposals is expected to trigger fireworks in the lower house as the joint opposition, which has denounced the finance bill as akin to “surrendering” to the IMF, is pulling up its sleeves and is scheduled to meet before the session at the parliament house.
On December 30, 2021, Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin introduced the Finance mini-budget in the National Assembly amid a vociferous protest by the opposition lawmakers.
The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Amendment Bill 2021 was also presented in the House, which was referred to the relevant standing committee for vetting. As the proceedings started, despite the absence of PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif and PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto, opposition leaders accused the government of “auctioning off” Pakistan’s sovereignty to IMF and burdening the nation by withdrawing tax exemptions by introducing the bills.