Monday, December 4, 2023

Opposition Protested After Govt Represent Mini-Budget

The government tabled the heavily debated mini-budget 2021 and State Bank of Pakistan (Amendment) Bill 2021 in the National Assembly on Thursday.

The mini-budget 2021, often known as the  Finance Supplementary Bill 2021, will not be referred to the relevant standing committee.

Moreover, the government reissued other ordinances that had expired and could not be renewed by the House, according to the opposition.

Opposition parties chanted anti-PM Imran, anti-government and anti-cabinet slogans in front of the chair.

The opposition members carried anti-government posters. And other documents were torn.

During the chaotic session, treasury and opposition members physically fought.

The Finance (Supplementary) Bill 2021 and the State Bank of Pakistan (Amendment) Bill 2021 have been presented in parliament for approval.

The additional amendment bill eliminates tax exemptions and, according to the opposition, levies worth Rs1100 billion.

With a new framework for increasing openness and accountability, the SBP (Amendment) Bill 2021 seeks operational and financial autonomy for the State Bank of Pakistan.

This allows the SBP to be adequately capitalized over time using both statuary reserves and retained earnings.

The Board of Directors of SBP has been given clear authority over the bank’s affairs and functions, the capacity to supervise management, administration, and operations, and access to all bank activities.

Read Also: FIA starts investigation against former DG Bashir Memon

Earlier, Speaker Asad Qaisar presided over the National Assembly’s activities. The administration presented the resolution suspending the calling attention notice and question hour.

When the SBP Amendment Bill was put on the supplementary agenda, the opposition protested.

They shouted ‘Go Niazi Go, stop financial murder of masses’ around the speaker seat.

PPP’s Syed Naveed Qamar objected to the government renewing expired ordinances. He thinks the government is creating new traditions. He said six expired ordinances are being proposed to give them a second chance.

Dr. Babar Awan, Advisor to the PM on Parliamentary Affairs, said ordinances are being tabled in the House as per the procedures.

Dr. Babar Awan proposed extending the Regulation of Electric Power Generation, Transmission, and Distribution (Amendment) Ordinance 2021. Shazia Marri of the PPP contested the speaker’s request for a voice note on the resolution.

The speaker ordered the vote count, which showed 145 in favor and only three against. The bulk of opposition members did not rise from their seats when the speaker requested them to do so. It was also a protest against the govt.

When asked about the two measures, PML-N’s Khawaja  Asif warned the administration was jeopardizing the country’s sovereignty.

“A day to remember. The IMF now controls SBP. Don’t sell Pakistan. Do not give up Pakistan’s financial sovereignty. “The country’s financial surrender is worse than its territorial surrender in 1971,” Asif remarked.

How can the opposition allow the government to be removed when they couldn’t even get their members to vote?

Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, former PM and PPPP lawmaker stated the opposition is not given time to discuss the mini-budget. The chair told the opposition that it would have ample opportunity to speak.

On quorum, the chair postponed the meeting, and Shah Mehmood Qureshi was given the floor by the chair to react to the opposition’s concerns.

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