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Pakistan

Finance (Supplementary) Bill, SBP (Amendment) Bill: NA session adjourned again

  • Session commenced with Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri in chair, but only lasted 12 minutes
Published December 31, 2021

The approval of the Finance (supplementary) Bill, 2021 and State Bank of Pakistan (Amendment) Bill, 2021 was again deferred after the National Assembly (NA) session was adjourned on Friday for an indefinite period.

The session commenced with Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri in chair. However, the session was only held for 12 minutes, Aaj News reported.

"The National Assembly session has been prorogued," the official Twitter handle of the NA said.

Govt tables Finance (supplementary) Bill, 2021, SBP (Amendment) Bill, 2021

On Thursday, the session was adjourned till Friday (today) after the opposition pointed out the quorum in the House. Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin had laid the Finance (supplementary) Bill, 2021 and State Bank of Pakistan (Amendment) Bill, 2021 in NA.

The joint opposition staged a protest against the mini-budget and the bill, saying it is being done on the dictation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Soon after National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser took up the agenda, the opposition parties objected over extension of a bunch of ordinances, saying the constitution as well as a verdict by the Supreme Court of Pakistan categorically say a lapsed ordinance – whether it is lapsed by one day or more – cannot be extended.

Govt tables Supplementary Finance, SBP bills

However, their objection fell on deaf ears, and the chair proceeded with the agenda. An intense protest against the ordinances escalated into fisticuffs between opposition lawmaker Shagufta Jumani and PTI MNA Ghazala Saifi.

The House also adopted the resolution seeking extension in The Election (Third Amendment) Ordinance for 120 days. The other ordinances include, “The Federal Government Properties Management Authority Ordinance, 2021”, “The Elections (Third Amendment) Ordinance, 2021”, “The Public Properties (Removal of Encroachment) Ordinance, 2021”, “The Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (Amendment) Ordinance, 2021”, “The Pakistan Food Security Flow and Information Ordinance, 2021” and “The Tax Laws (Third Amendment) Ordinance, 2021”.

17pc GST proposed to be levied on over 150 items

The government has proposed to impose 17 percent sales tax worth Rs343 billion on over 150 items including imported plant and machinery, luxury items, dairy products, meat/poultry, pharmaceutical raw materials, beauty products/food supplements, computers, baggage of overseas Pakistanis, cotton/sunflower/canola seeds, mobile phones (exceeding US$200), branded iodized salt, energy saver lamps/tube lights, and imported re-meltable scrap.

Through the Finance (Supplementary) Bill, 2021, presented in the National Assembly on Thursday, the sales tax would be applicable from the next day of the assent given by the president.

Finance (Suppl) Bill: 17pc GST proposed to be levied on over 150 items

The Finance (Supplementary) Bill 2021 has amended four Schedules of the Sales Tax Act i.e. Third Schedule (printed retail price); Fifth Schedule (sales tax zero-rating); Sixth Schedule (exemption); and Ninth Schedule (mobile phones).

The import of certain items has been subjected to 17 percent sales tax, but their local supplies has been exempted from sales tax including sugarcane, bread, live animals/poultry, fish, cereals, edible vegetables/fruit, sugar care/eggs, locally-manufactured computers, compost (non-commercial fertiliser), eggs and meat of bovine animals.

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has also proposed to exclude sugar from the Third Schedule of the Sales Tax Act from December 1, 2021.

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