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ISLAMABAD: A meeting of the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Finance would be held today (Monday) to discuss Supreme Court’s directive to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) for releasing funds to Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for holding the General Election of Punjab Assembly without prior approval of the National Assembly.

As per agenda of the committee, the 86th meeting of the Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue will be presided over by Qaiser Ahmed Sheikh. The meeting would confirm minutes of previous meeting of the Committee held on 13th April 2023 and seek comprehensive report/ implementation status of the previous recommendations of the Committee.

The committee meeting will also discuss and propose recommendations in response to media reports that Supreme Court of Pakistan directed the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to release funds to Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for the purpose of holding the General Election of Punjab Assembly without prior approval of the National Assembly.

The previous meeting of the NA Standing Committee on Finance held on 13TH April 2023 has unanimously rejected a bill moved to provide funds to the Election Commission of Pakistan for general election in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The meeting of national assembly’s standing committee on finance was convened to consider ‘the charged sum for general election of Punjab and JP assemblies Bill 2023.

Minister of State for Finance Dr. Aisha Ghaus Pasha told the committee that only Rs 5 billion have been allocated in the budget for the ECP in the ongoing fiscal year but the Supreme Court has asked for giving Rs 21 billion to the ECP for election in two provinces. This is the reason that to bring the Money Bill. She said that the country fiscal state is very precarious and government is under IMF programme.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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