Islamabad, Jun 29 (PTI) Pakistan Parliament on Tuesday passed the Rs 8,48,700 crore budget for the new fiscal year with majority vote after the opposition failed to garner enough numbers to challenge the government on the key money bill.
Prime Minister Imran Khan was present for the session, while former president Asif Ali Zardari and PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari were also in attendance.
The National Assembly, the lower house of Parliament, passed the Finance Amendment Bill 2021-22, which was unveiled as the annual budget on June 11, amidst protest by the opposition parties.
Despite the opposition protest, the bill presented by Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin sailed through the National Assembly with 172 votes, while 138 votes were cast against it.
The money bill was read clause wise and passed through a voice vote. During clause by clause discussion, the amendments proposed by the treasury members were accepted while those by the opposition were rejected.
The opposition sensing its numerical weakness didn’t challenge the outcome of the voice vote.
The 2021-22 budget provided around 19 per cent additional allocations compared to last year’s Rs 7,13,700 crore budget. It would be implemented from July 1 at the start of the new financial year.
The budget for the new fiscal year included a Rs 1,37,000-crore defence budget, which is higher by Rs 8,100 crore than last year's. Last year the defence budget was Rs 1,28,900 crore.
The budget provided various incentives and measures to promote business activities and provide relief to the general public, including Rs 6,82,00 crore for subsidies for various sectors, zero-rating to export of IT services and tax relief for locally manufactured up to 1000CC cars. It also allocated USD 1.1 billion for procurement of Covid-19 vaccines.
Earlier, finance minister Tarin said the government was focusing on the agriculture sector which had been ignored in the past. 'We are taking direct action, something that has never been done before,' he said.
He said the government will go after willful tax defaulters, adding that it was necessary to enhance the tax to GDP ratio to 20 per cent. PTI SH SCY SCY