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Monday May 27, 2024

Dar hopes president will sign finance bill without delay

By Muhammad Saleh Zaafir
February 21, 2023

ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar Monday expressed satisfaction over the smooth passage of the Finance Supplementary Bill, 2023 from the National Assembly and expressed hope that the president will approve it without delay.

The minister chaired a high-echelon meeting in his Parliament House chamber soon after the adjournment of the National Assembly’s sitting.

State Minister for Finance Dr. Ayesha Ghaus Pasha, Chairman FBR Asim Ahmad, Federal Finance Secretary Hamed Yaqoob Sheikh, PSPMs Tariq Pasha and Tariq Bajwa attended the meeting.

The meeting discussed the situation and evolved a strategy in the wake of adoption of the bill by the national legislature.

The federal finance ministry, FBR and relevant ministries have already started working for formulating outlines for the next fiscal year’s budget.

The Finance Supplementary Bill, 2023, had to be brought in the National Assembly in the aftermath of refusal by President Arif Alvi to sign it.

The presidential authority for issuance of the ordinance was exclusively meant for such occasion by the framers of the Constitution.

Dar had a meeting with President Alvi to remind him of the significance and urgency of the bill in shape of ordinance but the latter declined to sign it.

Senator Dar opted not to offer any comment on the president’s behaviour. Dar hoped that the economy will revive sooner than expected. He introduced the bill in the NA last week followed by a formal debate that started after Commerce Minister Syed Naveed Qamar moved a motion on February 17.

Talking to The News, Dar said the bill proposed imposing new taxes of Rs170 billion to minimise the fiscal deficit. He said his economic team had a hectic routine during the last ten days holding talks with the IMF to revive the programme during which it agreed to take some tough decisions for streamlining the deteriorating condition of the economy.

Senator Dar said the new revenue measures would not affect the poor segments of society. In order to help the poor cope with the rising inflation, the government had also proposed a Rs40 billion increase in the budget of the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP), he added.