Pakistan

Finance Minister Asad Umar presents Mini Budget in National Assembly

ISLAMABAD: On Wednesday, the Finance Supplementary Second Amendment bill 2019 was presented by Asad Umar- the Finance Minister in the National Assembly.  

The statement began by Umar by saying that this is not a mini-budget that is presented but instead it is the a set of economic improvements. What had been left by the previous government for the people of Pakistan, question asked by the Finance Minister.

It was further said by the Finance Minister thay, “An economic situation was began two years ago and all the economic experts were saying that the economy of the country is in danger. But rather, not a little attention had been paid by the people in power and they thought the people were ignorant and they bought the election by consipary.”

It was added by him that the lack has grown upto Rs900 billion. He asked that who would fill this gap. “Who is going to fill this gap and how? Will it come from their Swiss accounts? No. The citizens will be paid the money through which the gap is filled.

There were losses in the Railways, Steel Mills and other institutions which is recorded, and the country was left by the opposition in the debt upto Rs2,500 to Rs3,000 billion, as per the Finance Minister Asad Umar.

The attention was brought towards the decresing level of exports by the minister. “The exports are at 40 per cent today. Previously exports were at 14 pre cent of the entire national output, but now they are just 7 percent of the economy.”

It was said by Umar that, the PTI government would not need to but the election when the time of next general election come due to their performance in improving the country. It was also claimed by him that the growth rate of the country will be at its leak by 2022 and in the 15 years, fiscal deficits and current account will be at their lowest.

Salient features

  • The reduction from 30% to 20% on the tax on agricultural loans.
  • Rs5 billion revolving fund for interest-free loans  (qarz-i-husna) will be introduced in order to facilitate low-income housing.
  • In order to promote the culture of paying the taxes, withholding tax for filers on banking transactions will be eliminated.
  • The tax will be increased but non-filers will be able to buy small and mid-size cars up to 1300CC.
  • There has been a decreased in tax to Rs5000 for small wedding halls up to 500 square feet.
  • There will be a pilot scheme which is going to introduced in Islamabd in order to facilitate traders in paying taxes and filing.
  • The elimination of the duty on import of newsprint.

In the coming five years, there will be exempt on those working to manufacture renewable energy products form customs duty and sales tax. There will be no duty and taxation for five years on the investment in solar panels, wind turbines.

  • Until profitability, there will be no tax on bids for sports franchises.
  • Super tax will be removed from July 1 for non-banking companies.
  • There will be a continuation of 1pc per annum reduction in corporate income tax.
  • There will be elimination in withholding tax on trading in the stock exchange.
  • There will be an increament in the tax for vehicles over 1800CC.
  • There would a decreased in the tax for low priced phones, and it will remain same for the expensive phones.
  • Schemes of promissory notes for exporters will be introduced. On these notes, any exporter will be able to take loans from banks.
  • There will be a decreased of 5 ler cent in duty on diesel engines for the purpose of agriculture.
  • No Gas Infrastructure Development Cess on fertiliser production.

Debate on Sahiwal killings

Before given the presentation in the mini-budget, it was said by Shehbaz Sharif- the opposition leader in the National Assembly that when the Model Town incident happened on the same night a judicial commission had been announced. The respond was given by Shehbaz to the PTI government compared the dealing of the Model Town incident of the PLM-N government to the killing in Sahiwal.

“Without the permission of the Prime Minister Imran Khan, the nation’s call cannot even be responded by the chief minister of Punjab”, said by Shehbaz Sharif. It was further added by him that no action would be taken by the chief minister without taking the permission of Prime Miniser on Whatsapp.

The PLM-N president called for the resignation of Prime Minister along with Usman Buzdar- the Punjab Chief Minister.

It was said by Shah Mehmood Qureshi- the Foreign Minister by responding to Shehbaz Sharif that the Sahiwal incident had not been only condemned by the government but the directives had also been issued by the Prime Minister to the chief minister Punjab.

“Whtaever that was said about the elected chief minister was not appropriate,” asserted by Qureshi.

The order was given by the Prime Minister that within 72 hours the report on Sahiwal should be presented, said by Qureshi. “Within the timeframe, it eas concluded by the Joint Investigation Agency (JIT) that the Khalil family was innocent.”

“There was no action taken to supress the facts, unlike the past governments”, added by the minister.

“All the facts will be presented in front of the Parliament and those who are responsible will be held accountable,” according to Qureshi.

It was clarified by the Foreign Minister that for the investigation of Zeeshan, who was the driver of the vehicle, not the member of the Khalil family, additional time had been taken by JIT.

It was requested by Qureshi that this incident should not be used for political scoring.

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