Monday, December 4, 2023

Shaukat Tarin elected as a senator before mini-budget

Shaukat Tarin, an adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue, was elected as a senator on Monday in the by-election for a general seat in the Senate. This is just a few days before the mini-budget.

Election held at the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly, which started at 9am and ended at 4pm. People could vote there.

Four votes were rejected, and five lawmakers did not take part n the election, KP Health Minister Taimur Khan Jhagra said.  Shaukat Tarin got 87 votes.

The seat opened up because last month, PTI’s Ayub Afridi stepped down from the Senate to make way for Tarin, who is now in the Senate. It is a rule that when a seat is empty, the Election Commission of Pakistan has to hold a vote on it in 30 days.

To be elected, a candidate needs to get more than 50% of the votes from the 145 people who are on the board. In the provincial assembly, the PTI has a total of 94 members.. The JUI-F has 15, the ANP has 12, the PML-N has 7, the PPP has five, the Balochistan Awami Party has four, the Jamaat-e-Islami has three, and the PML-Q each has one member in the provincial assembly.

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Government plans to present a mini-budget to parliament later this week that will remove GST exemptions and put a standard tax rate of 17% on the import of essential goods.

Getting elected as a senator was important for Tarin because only elected people can talk about the budget in the Parliament.

Tarin was appointed finance minister in April, following a restructuring of the government. However, his term was up in October, and the government changed his job to an advisor on finance because a non-elected person can stay as a federal minister for six months.

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