President Alvi approves Finance Supplementary Bill 2023

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: President Arif Alvi on Thursday accorded approval to the Finance Supplementary Bill 2023.

The approval has been given in accordance with Article 75 of the Constitution. The bill envisages additional taxes and duties of Rs170 billion to materialise the understanding reached with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for the Extended Fund Facility (EFF).

On Feb 21, the National Assembly passed the Finance (Supplementary) Bill, 2023,” proposing additional taxes and duties of Rs170 billion to fulfill the obligation. According to the bill, General Sales Tax (GST) will be increased from 17 per cent to 18pc. It has been decided to enhance the GST on luxury items from 17pc to 25pc.

For the air travel, it has been proposed that a fixed amount of Federal Excise Duty (FED) ranging from Rs75,000 to Rs250,000 of different tiers as per the International Air Transport Association on airfare for first, business and club classes should be imposed.

Besides, 10pc withholding adjustable advance tax will be levied on the bills of wedding halls in order to promote simplicity and austerity. The FED will be enhanced on sugary and aerated drinks, while FED will be increased on cement from Rs1.5 to 2 per kilogrammes.

Winding up discussion on the Finance (Supplementary) Bill, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said the government fully realised people’s problems due to rising inflation, but was compelled to take tough measures to strengthen the economy. He said the government had allocated an additional amount of Rs40 billion for the Benazir Income Support Programme, raising 25 per cent stipend of BISP beneficiaries.

The House rejected all the amendments moved by the opposition. The National Commission for Minorities Bill, 2023 was laid before the House. The bill was introduced by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar.

Earlier, the newly elected Member National Assembly Mahmood Baqi Moulvi took the oath of office. He was elected on PTI ticket on a seat vacated due to death of PTI MNA Dr Amir Liaqaut. Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf administered the oath.

Replying to a call attention notice, moved by Maulana Abdul Akbar Chitrali regarding delay in the MCQ-based preliminary test of Central Superior Services of Pakistan, chief whip Saad Waseem informed the House that the said exam would be initiated in May this year.