National Assembly passes Rs14.48tr budget for FY24 to fetch IMF loan

National Assembly passes Rs14.48tr budget for FY24 to fetch IMF loan


An overwhelming majority backed the finance bill

ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – The National Assembly on Sunday approved the Finance Bill 2023-24, thus endorsing the Rs14.480 trillion budget for the next fiscal year.

The budget was approved under the tight watch of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in an attempt to secure pending funds.  The government managed to bill sail through the Lower House of Parliament after getting support of an overwhelming majority.

Earlier, the lawmakers went through the clause-wise approval of the money bill as Speaker Raja Pervez Ashraf chaired the session.

Petroleum Levy Increased

During the session, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar tabled a bill to amend the Petroleum Products (Development Surcharge) Ordinance, 1961, under which the government now enjoys the power to make decisions about the levy – one of the conditions set by the IMF (International Monetary Fund).

Read more: IMF tells Pakistan to reset budget or lose loan deal

Hence, the government will now increase the petroleum development levy to Rs60 per litre against the previous level of Rs50 as the IMF is pressing Pakistan hard to increase revenue generation.

Council of Islamic Ideology 

Meanwhile, Moulana Abdul Akbar Chitrali of JUI-F tabled a resolution, calling for sending the Finance Bill 2023-24 to the Council of Islamic Ideology to ascertain whether it was in line with the Islam.

However, Dar opposed the resolution which was also rejected by the House as Chitrali failed to garner any support.

What happened during the final hours

The passage of budget comes after the government introduced a new set of taxations which would enhance revenue collection by Rs215 billion in an attempt to appease the IMF.

Read more: Pakistan asks IMF to relax $6bn external financing condition

It was made possible as the IMF expressed its willingness to consider a proposal forwarded by Pakistan to relax its condition concerning $6 billion external financing for the next fiscal year’s budget, sources said.

In its response, the IMF gave green light to the proposal as the government, in return to the easing the external financing condition, opted for increasing the taxes as announced by Dar in the National Assembly on Saturday.

Supplementary grants

The National Assembly also approved 30 supplementary demands for grants for the fiscal year 2022-23 after voice voting in the House and another 54 for grants for 2021-22.