The National Assembly has passed the first federal budget presented by the PTI government for the fiscal year 2019-2020. Opposition clan failed to block the approval and bill was approved with 176 votes in favor of it. Although, 146 members of the opposition opposed the bill. Prime Minister Imran Khan also attended the session and opposition was also at full strength including Shehbaz Sharif and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.
Various members of the assembly suggested amendments in the bill including Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Khwaja Asif, Shazia Marri, Maryam Aurangzeb, Shehbaz Sharif, Rana Sanaullah Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, etc. Opposition members suggested changes with respect to the tax exemptions and rates but almost all the amendments from the opposition were rejected, however, few changes were made by the Revenue Minister Hammad Azhar which were accepted by the house.
Opposition members wore black armbands during the session to protest against the bill. During the polling, Speaker Asad Qaiser on different events encouraged the individuals to cease from raising slogans, watch decency of the house and stop from making recordings from their cell phones. Now and again, the individuals from over the path quarreled about standards as indicated by which the Speaker runs the house.
Opposition leader took strongly criticized the government on the bill and rejected it. Ahsan Iqbal said, “If the prime minister himself is taking the country towards bankruptcy, then the country needs no enemy. This is an anti-growth budget that will usher in unemployment, poverty, and backwardness. The government claims that it has reduced expenditures whereas the budget document shows that for the first time, the PTI government has allocated more than Rs1 billion for the Prime Minister’s Office. Funds have been secretly allocated under the head of the defense production for maintenance of the PM’s aircraft.”
Raja Pervez Ashraf added that “Imran Khan had stated that if there is an honest leadership, people will happily give taxes. However, the government has failed to collect even the same amount of tax which was being collected by previous governments he accused of ‘comprising of thieves’.”
Revenue Minister Hammad Azhar took the floor and defended the government by responding to the criticism from the opposing side. He claimed that for the first time ever, civil expenditure has been reduced up to 5%. He added that the current account deficit and the trade deficit has been reduced and the government has successfully launched anti pilferage drives to enhance revenue from power and gas sector.