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Govt tables Finance (Supplementary) Bill 2021 in NA

Dunya News


Parliament session presents Finance (Supplementary) Bill 2021 underway

ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government on Thursday introduced the Finance (Supplementary) Bill, 2021 in the National Assembly aimed at tax reforms in the country.

A meeting of the National Assembly was held under the chairmanship of Asad Qaiser.  

During the proceedings, the Lower House of the Parliament approved passed a resolution moved by Babar Awan, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Parliamentary Affairs, to suspend the rules. Later, Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin introduced the Supplementary Finance Bill 2021 (Money Budget) in the National Assembly.

The House adopted different resolutions extending various Ordinances for a period of 120 days. These 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”.

The House adopted the resolutions with a majority vote amid uproar from the opposition benches. Opposition stagged protest and called for a boycott of the assembly and chanted anti-government slogans.

Supplementary Bill

According to the bill, the government will impose a tax on approximately 150 goods at a rate of 17%. Therefore, goods that were currently either completely exempt from General Sales Tax (GST) or being taxed at 5% to 12% rates would now be taxed at 17%.

According to the copy of the Finance (Supplementary) Bill 2021 available with Dunya News, the bill proposed retraction of GST exemption on 6 items of zero rated industry.

“Ending tax exemption on zero rated items will add burden of Rs9 billion rupees, was also proposed in the bill. The bill also proposed withdrawal of tax exemption on imported milk, bicycles.

The bill proposed ending GST exemption on 59 imported items, while GST exemption on bakery items, branded food items will also be withdrawn.

Exemption given on imported machinery for power sector to be retracted, while, increase in federal excise duty has also been proposed for vehicles over 1000cc.

The bill proposed imposition of 17% additional tax on imported mobile phones and 100% hike in advance tax in vehicle registration fees, while advance tax on foreign TV serials and dramas has also been proposed.

Zero-rating available on supplies of raw materials for imported milk would be withdrawn and be taxed at 17%. The supplies to duty-free shops will be taxed at 17%. As they will be taxed for the first time, there are no revenue estimates.

The income tax rate on mobile phone calls will increase from 10% to 15%, while it was also proposed that imported meat and poultry items should be exempted from tax.

The finance bill also proposes that bread prepared in bakeries, restaurants, food chains and shops be taxed at a 17% rate and sales tax on prepared foodstuff and sweetmeats supplied by restaurants, bakeries, and sweet shops will increase to 17%.

The GST on silver and gold will increase from 1% to 17%, while tax will be imposed on computers and laptops.

Lack of quorum

Later, the National Assembly left most of its agenda unaddressed and was prorogued sine die amidst lack of quorum.

PPP’s Shagufta Jamani slaps PTI’s Ghazala Saifi

Amid opposition’s ruckus, an incident occurred in the Lower House of the Parliament when the finance minister read out the bill, Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) MNA Shagufta Jamani had a clash with a member of the government Ghazala Saifi. During the verbal clash, the PPP leader slapped PTI’s Ghazala Saifi.

Majority of opposition member did not stand

Opposition members also challenged the vote on extending the ordinance on solar electricity to which the Speaker National Assembly ordered regular voting instead of oral voting. The Speaker directed the voters in favor of the resolution to stand on the seats, however, after the opposition voted in favor of the resolution, only three members of the opposition stood in opposition. The majority of the opposition members did not stand in the count. The government received 145 votes in favor of the bill.

Don’t sell Pakistan, cries Khawaja Asif

Speaking on the floor of the House, former minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Khawaja Asif said that the government was selling Pakistan s economic sovereignty by silencing the opposition and the people of Pakistan.

PML-N leader Khawaja Asif said the government had violated the Constitution by presenting an ordinance that had already lapsed and expired. 

"You re giving control of State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to the IMF. Please have mercy on the people of Pakistan. Don t sell Pakistan. You allowed people to loot the country for three years," he said. He urged the House to not let Pakistan surrender its integrity.

The former minister further said the government violated the Constitution by presenting an ordinance that had already lapsed and expired.

Khawaja Asif went on to say that there wouldn’t have need to impose new taxes, create new budget if the theft of medicines, wheat and sugar were stopped.

Prices to increase

According to sources, the prices of power, gas and petroleum products will increase due to the mini budget that include tough conditions of the IMF, while taxes and duties on more than 1700 items will also be increased in the mini budget and taxes on all imported and luxury items will be increased.

Taxes and duties on luxury items, imported diapers, make-up items will be increased and taxes on imported and domestic vehicles will also increase.

Sources further said that the total revenue from taxes and duties will be Rs 340 billion and sales tax rate is likely to be raised to 17%, while the tax rate on various items may increase from 5 to 7%. The federal excise duty (FED) on cars likely to increase 2.5 percent and sales tax on tractors is likely to increase by 5%.

Customs duties on imported clothing, footwear and perfumes are likely to be increased, while Sales tax on locally made goods is also likely to be increased from 12% to 17%.