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Finance Bill 2022 sails through NA

Written by The Frontier Post

F.P. Report
ISLAMABAD: National Assembly (NA) on Wednesday passed Finance Bill 2022-23, giving legal effect to the budgetary proposals for the next fiscal year. All amendments moved by the Minister of State for Finance and treasury lawmakers were adopted by the House while the amendments of opposition members including Javaria Zafar Aheer (PTI), Wajiha Qamar (PTI), Ramesh Kumar (PTI), Saira Bano (GDA), Maulana Abul Akbar Chitrali (MMAP) and an Independent MNA Mohsin Dawar were rejected by the House after voting.
According to the Rule 187 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in National Assembly 2007, not less than four days shall be allotted for the general discussion on the budget. However, the National Assembly smoothly continued debate on the Finance Bill, 2022 for 10 days. The formal debate started on June 13, 2022 that continued till June 24, 2022. The House also discussed recommendations of the Senate and three MNAs expressed their views on it.
Minister for Finance Miftah Ismail had concluded debate on Finance Bill on June 24, 2022. The House held discussion on the Charged Expenditure included in Demands for Grants and Appropriations for the financial year ending on June 30, 2023. The House approved 131 demands for grants related to various departments and ministries. The total volume of the federal budget for fiscal year 2022-23 is Rs9.5 trillion with allocation of Rs 2,158 billion under the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) which is one per cent up from Rs 2,135 billion last year.
The Ministry of Finance has termed the budget 2022-23 as growth budget and it is based on a well-thought-out strategy to boost the economic growth outlined in the medium-term budgetary strategy paper for FY23 to FY25. It gives a clear roadmap of the strategic priorities, revenue and spending policies of the government.
The lower house of the parliament also approved 10 percent ‘Super Tax’ on several big industries as well as other amendments introduced after International Monetary Fund (IMF) pressure.
The Finance Bill 2022-2023 approved by the Federal government imposed up to Rs16000 levy on the import of mobile phones. As per the budget document, Rs100 levy is imposed on the worth up to $30 mobile phones while a levy of Rs200 is imposed on mobile phones worth above $30 and up to $100. On the other hand, Rs600 levy is imposed on mobile phones worth Above $100 and up to $200, Rs1,800 on mobile phones worth up to US$350.Moreover, Rs4,000 on the mobile phones worth up to $500, Rs8,000 on mobile phones worth Above $500 and up to $700 and Rs16,000 levy on mobile phones worth more than $701.
The National Assembly also approved amending the Petroleum Products (Petroleum Levy) Ordinance, 1961, caving in to the IMF’s demand of imposing a petroleum tax levy of Rs50. However, the finance minister, while speaking on the floor, said that the petroleum levy was at Rs0 currently and reiterated that the government will not impose Rs50 in one go. “The government has got the permission from you (the house) to impose up to Rs50 per litter levy on petroleum products but there is no intention to take the levy up to this figure”, he said.
The budget envisages Federal Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) OF 800 billion rupees for the next fiscal year. It has been centered on improvement in sectors such as water resources, transport and communication, energy, higher education, health, science and technology, and balanced regional development.
A total of Rs 699 billion have been set aside for targeted subsidies to extend benefit to deprived segments of the society. The budget of Benazir Income Support Program has been increased to 364 billion rupees. In addition, 12 billion rupees have been allocated for the provision of subsidy on essential commodities through Utility Stores Corporation. The salaries of government employees have been increased by fifteen percent along with a merger of adhoc allowances.
The National Assembly also approved 39 supplementary demands for grants of over Rs 836.118 billion related to various ministries and divisions for the financial year 2021-22.
The House approved the regular and technical supplementary grants, moved by Minister of State for Finance and Revenue Aisha Ghaus Pasha one-by-one, in respect of expenditure other than charged upon the Federal Consolidated Fund for the outgoing financial year. The demands for grants were related to Cabinet Division; Atomic Energy; Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority; National Disaster Management Authority and Earthquake Reconstruction & Rehabilitation Authority (ERRA); Aviation Division; Airports Security Force; Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division; Secretariat of Council of Common Interest; Other Expenditure of Communications Division; Defence Division; Federal Government Educational Institutions in Cantonments and Garrisons; Defence Services; Power Division; Petroleum Division; Federal Education and Professional Training Division; Other Expenditure of Finance Division; Federal Board of Revenue; Foreign Affairs Division; Housing and Works Division; Human Rights Division; Industries and Production Division; Information and Broadcasting Division; Information Technology and Telecommunication Division; Interior Division; Other Expenditure of Interior Division; Islamabad Capital Territory; Combined Civil Armed Forces; National Food Security and Research Division; National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination Division; Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Division; Water Resources Division; Development Expenditure of Cabinet Division; Development Expenditure of Communications Division; Development Expenditure of Power Division; Development Expenditure of Interior Division; Development Expenditure of National Health Services, Regulations & Coordination Division; Capital Outlay on Petroleum Division; Capital Outlay on Civil Works and Capital Outlay on Maritime Affairs Division.

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