ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin Friday laid a copy of the Finance Bill 2021-22 in the Senate amidst protest by opposition members.
Senate's first sitting of the budget session (312th session) presided over by Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani continued for less than 15 minutes wherein the finance minister laid a copy of the new federal budget shortly before the sitting was adjourned. Amidst anti-government slogans chanted by opposition senators, Tarin took the floor and laid the bill following which the sitting was adjourned, to meet again on Monday at 4 pm to take up discussion on the new budget.
Sanjrani directed the senators to submit their recommendations on the Finance Bill 2020-21 (if any) latest by June 14.
Constitutionally, the upper house of the Parliament can hold extensive debate on the Finance Bill and devise recommendations accordingly but it has practically no role in budgetary legislation since it is completely up to the National Assembly to either completely or partially accept those recommendations or hand them an outright rejection.
The Article 73 which deals with parliamentary business with respect to money bills reads, "(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in Article 70, a Money Bill shall originate in the National Assembly: Provided that simultaneously when a Money Bill, including the Finance Bill containing the Annual Budget Statement, is presented in the National Assembly, a copy thereof shall be transmitted to the Senate which may, within fourteen days, make recommendations thereon to the National Assembly.
"(1A) The National Assembly shall, consider the recommendations of the Senate and after the bill has been passed by the Assembly with or without incorporating the recommendations of the Senate, it shall be presented to the President for assent."
Meanwhile, the chairman Senate rejected a proposal floated by Advisor to the Prime Minister on Parliamentary Affairs Dr Babar Awan in the last Senate session wherein he suggested that the leave to move a bill in Senate should be granted only if it is supported by two-third membership of the Senate.
Rejecting this proposal, Sanjrani said it was not possible to materialise this proposal and issued a detailed ruling in this regard.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021