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Mini budget to be laid before Cabinet, National Assembly next week

  • After Cabinet’s nod, mini budget to be tabled in National Assembly
  • President summons NA session to meet on Monday

ISLAMABAD: Federal government is all set to table the mini-budget before a sitting of the federal cabinet. After approval by the cabinet, the mini-budget would be tabled in the National Assembly for passage.

Federal cabinet is likely to meet on Tuesday to discuss the mini-budget. President Dr. Arif Alvi has also summoned the National Assembly session on Monday at 4 p.m. to take up the mini-budget. The President has called the NA session under Article 54(1) of the constitution.

The mini-budget is being tabled in order to meet the conditions set by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for the revival of its $6 billion loan to Pakistan.

In the mini-budget, the finance bill will seek withdrawal of the General Sales Tax (GST) exemptions and slapping standard rate of 17 percent tax on import of mobile phones, computers, silver/gold, different articles of jewellery, re-meltable scrap, LPG and many other products.It is not yet known whether the government will impose a standard GST rate of 17 percent on POL products or not.

If the whole GST rate and petroleum levy were jacked up to Rs30 per litre in phases, the storm of inflationary pressures might touch new heights.It seems that the government will make last-ditch efforts to protect the POL products from the maximum rate of GST. Currently, it is charging a minimum amount of GST on POL products. Opposition set to give treasury benches tough time.

The united opposition is ready to give a tough time to the treasury benches over the mini-budget. Moreover, debate over first suspected case of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 may also crop up during the National Assembly session.  Overall inflation and recent increase in electricity tariff are also on opposition’s agenda for the upcoming national assembly session.

A source told Pakistan Today that the PTI’s government wants smooth sailing at the NA session with an objective to get it approved by the first week of January. However, the opposition plans to raise the increase of Rs4.74 in electricity tariff.PML-N’s newly elected MNA Shaista Pervaiz Malik would take oath in this session.

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