Islamabad,(Parliament Times): The National Assembly (NA) on Monday has approved federal budget 2020-2021 in a session amid protest by the opposition benches.
The budget was moved by Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar who said that the government has presented a tax free budget and it envisages relief measures not only for the construction sector but also for promotion of mobile phone manufacturing and electric vehicles.
He said duties and taxes on import of sixteen hundred raw materials have been brought to zero. It is the first time that the annual development plan carries the biggest allocations for Balochistan and Sindh, he told.
As per the budget documents, gross revenue receipts have been estimated at 6,573 billion rupees. The FBR tax collection target has been set at 4,963 billion rupees while the non-tax revenue is estimated to be about 1,610 billion rupees.
The net capital receipts have been estimated at 1463.2 billion rupees, which are 75.93 percent higher than the outgoing fiscal year.
External receipts for the next year are estimated at 2222.9 billion rupees.
The development expenditure outside PSDP has been estimated at 70 billion rupees in the budget.
The total federal expenditures are estimated at 7137 billion rupees with a budget deficit of 3437 billion rupees, which is seven percent of the GDP.
The size of Public Sector Development Program for 2020-21 is 1,324 billion rupees. Out of this, 676 billion rupees have been allocated to provinces.
The government has formulated a special development programme worth 70 billion rupees to offset the negative impact of Coronavirus pandemic and other calamities and improve the living standard of people. Ten billion rupees have been earmarked to provide relief to the agriculture sector and fight the crop munching locusts. Besides, the government reserved 69 billion rupees for water related projects. Allocations for Ehsaas Programme have also been enhanced to protect the vulnerable groups of the society.
Taking the floor, Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar said the government has presented a tax free budget and it envisages relief measures not only for the construction sector but also for promotion of mobile phone manufacturing and electric vehicles. He said duties and taxes on import of sixteen hundred raw materials have been brought to zero.
He said it is the first time that the annual development plan carries the biggest allocations for Balochistan and Sindh.
The Minister clarified that the government has not increased the sales tax or petroleum development levy on petroleum products. He said their prices have been increased keeping in view the upward trend in the international oil market.
He said mafias in oil, sugar and flour will be brought to justice. Responding to the point of PML (N) parliamentary leader Khawaja Asif, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said no COVID-19 positive member has been invited to attend the proceedings today. He said we are not irresponsible. He said that forty hours were fixed for debate on the budgetary proposals but the members held discussion more than the allotted time. PML (N) Parliamentary Leader Khawaja Asif said the government should provide relief to the masses. He regretted the increase in the prices of petroleum products.
Speaking in the National Assembly, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said the people of Pakistan have given mandate to Prime Minister Imran Khan and he will not resign. He said Prime Minister Imran Khan enjoys the confidence of the house. The Foreign Minister said Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf will not make any compromise on its ideology. He said the PTI and its allies stand by the ideology of Imran Khan.
Responding to the points of PML (N) leader Khawaja Asif regarding PIA, Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan said the mandate of present government is to clean the mess left by the previous governments. He regretted that the previous governments destroyed the institutions in the name of democracy. The Minister said it was on the directions of the Supreme Court that the data of PIA employees inducted over the last ten years was scrutinized. He said the inquiry proved political appointments were made in the national flag carrier in complete violation of merit. He said action will be taken against fake degree holders.
PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari criticized the government for increasing the prices of petroleum products saying it will add to the woes of the masses and lead to price hike. He said our aim should be providing relief to the people. He was also critical of increase in the prices of flour, sugar and medicines. Minister for Communications Murad Saeed has said Pakistan will move forward on the path of development under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
He rejected the remarks made by PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari against the coronavirus strategy of the government. He said the European countries are now also adopting smart lockdown policy. The Minister said the present government gave the historic Ehsaas Program and enhanced its allocations to over two hundred billion rupees. He said our Sehat Insaf card scheme is providing free of cost medical treatment to the people.