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ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb, Wednesday, moved a copy of the Finance Bill 2024 in Senate, which received an outright rejection from the opposition for ‘imposing excessive taxes on the common man’.

In the brief Senate sitting, the finance minister laid a copy of the new federal budget in accordance with the relevant constitutional provisions, following which, Chairman Senate Yousaf Raza Gilani directed the senators to share their recommendations, if any, on the Finance Bill 2024 latest by this Friday noon.

The chairman then referred the finance bill’s draft to the Senate’s finance panel with the direction to finalise its recommendations on the bill by Friday, June 21, and submit the related report to the house by June 22.

Major changes in tax laws expected through Finance Bill 2024

Taking the floor, Leader of the Opposition in Senate Shibli Faraz criticised the budget for imposing heavy taxes on the common man.

In response, Leader of the House in Senate Ishaq Dar referred to increase in salaries of government employees and pensions of retired government employees in the new federal budget, claiming these steps were part of government’s policy to give relief to the masses.

The chairman Senate announced that the house would start debate on the new federal budget from today (Thursday) and adjourned the session.

The upper house of the parliament can hold extensive debate on the finance bill and devise recommendations accordingly, but it has no significant role in budgetary legislation, since it is completely up to National Assembly to either completely or partially accept those recommendations or reject them, partially or completely.

Article 73 of the constitution, which deals with parliamentary business with respect to money bills, reads 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 14 days, make recommendations thereon to the National Assembly.”

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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