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After lot of oppostion NA passed budget 2018-19

19 May, 2018

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Islamabad: The National Assembly on Friday passed the Finance Bill 2018-19 giving a legal cover to the budgetary proposals for the next financial year. The bill was passed on the third consecutive day of its presentation as the government had been unable to get the budget approved during the last two days due to thin attendance from ruling party members.

A number of proposals given by lawmakers and recommendations of the Senate made during the budget debate were incorporated either fully or partially but the basic structure of the budget remained same as announced by Finance Minister Miftah Ismail on April 27.

Speaking on the occasion, the finance minister remarked that as per the bill people who had dollar accounts must be tax filers. “Non-tax filers cannot keep dollar accounts,” he explained.

“There is no restriction on overseas Pakistanis sending remittance to the country. However, overseas Pakistanis who send more than $0.1 million their source of funding will be questioned, he said.”People who are sending money must declare their source of income.”

If the Foreign Board of Revenue receives more than Rs 10 million remittances then it will be probed, Miftah added.

He remarked that specific welfare organisations had been given tax exemption. Responding to this, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Dr Azra Pechuho asked why all welfare organisations had not been given tax exemption. Ismail explained that FBR had had the right to decide, which welfare organisation it wanted to give exemption to.

The minister thanked the speaker, members of the National Assembly and Senate who played a positive role during the presentation of the budget. He also thanked the staff of Finance Ministry, FBR and all other relevant departments for what he described as their untiring efforts in preparation of the budget.

The minister also announced five basic pays as honourarium to employees of various departments who had performed their duties during the budget session of the National Assembly. The minister assured the speaker that the honorarium would be paid to the concerned employees before the end of the incumbent government’s tenure.

Later, the speaker thanked all the parliamentary leaders and members of the national assembly for their cooperation during the last five years and adjourned the session till Monday.

The House also approved all 127 demands of grants for the financial year 2017-18 relating to various divisions and their related departments during the fiscal year 2018-19. Miftah had moved the supplementary demands for 127 grants to meet the expenditure during the outgoing fiscal year.

While responding to various objections on supplementary grants, Miftah had said that the borrowings were done due to fiscal deficit. Earlier on Thursday, the opposition rejected the tax amnesty scheme the government had announced in the budget 2018-19.

Leader of the Opposition Khurshid Shah had termed the scheme a “move to help the rich and continue suppression of the poor”. Shah also questioned why taxpayers were being punished as they had not been given any relief in the budget.

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