ISLAMABAD(PTV__Rana Ali Zohaib): A Session of the National Assembly is underway under the chairmanship of Speaker Asad Qaiser in which the government is presenting a budget worth about Rs 8,000 billion for the new financial year.
Federal Finance Minister Shaukat Tareen had just started his budget speech when opposition members started making noise and chanting slogans. They chanted slogans like “Mak Gaya Tera Sho Niazi”, “Go Niazi”, and stood on the seats to protest and play the desk, which caused so much noise that no sound could be heard in the House.
The situation became so bad that on one occasion the Speaker had to summon Sergeant at Arms to remove women opposition members from government benches.
Mobile phone calls, SMS and internet packages are expensive
The Finance Minister said that federal excise duty was being levied on mobile phone calls, internet data usage, SMS lasting more than 3 minutes which would impose tax on a large section of the population.
The Finance Minister said that the existing holding tax on mobile services would be reduced from 12.5 percent to 10 percent and after some time to 8 per cent.
Tax exemption on IT
Zero rating facility has been provided to IT service exports. Federal excise duty on fruit juice abolished. Exemption was also given on the import of standard paper for publication of Holy Quran. Self-destructing syringes and oxygen cylinders were tax-exempt.
Mobile phones and tires are expensive
The Finance Minister said that in the forthcoming budget, regulatory duty on import of mobile phones and tires is being increased, special export scheme is being introduced for promotion of exports under which SMEs and other sectors will be able to make duty free imports. It is being increased from two years to five years.
Interest free loans
The Finance Minister said that interest free loans of up to Rs. 500,000 would be given to every citizen household for business. He said that interest free loans of Rs. 1.5 lakh would be given to each farming family for cultivation of each crop. Similarly, interest free loans of up to Rs. 2 lakh will be provided for tractor and machine assistance.
Cheap loans of up to Rs. 2 million for construction of low cost houses, health card to each household and free technical training to one individual. A subsidy of Rs 3 lakh is being given to help in the purchase or construction of a house for which Rs 33 billion has been set aside in the budget. Rs 260 billion has been proposed for the Ehsas program.
Cheap electric and 850 cc vehicles
Tax exemption has been given on the import of kits for local manufacturing of electric vehicles. The sales tax rate for these vehicles has been reduced from 17% to 1%. Federal excise duty and VAT on 850 cc locally made vehicles were abolished. The sales tax rate on them has been reduced from 17% to 12.5%.
Tax exemption on imports
In the next budget, import of books, magazines, agricultural implements and 850 cc vehicles of CBU will be exempted from holding tax.
The Finance Minister said that the expenditure has been increased by 14% and is expected to be Rs. 7523 billion. Next year’s total budget deficit will be 6.3 percent while the current year’s budget deficit is 7.1 percent.
Revenue and part of the provinces
Shaukat Tareen said that the total revenue for the next financial year is estimated at Rs. 7909 billion and the target for revenue growth is 24%, FBR has proposed a target of Rs. 5829 billion with 24% growth and non-tax revenue growth. The target has been set at 22%. The share of provinces in federal taxes has been increased from Rs 2704 billion to Rs 3411 billion. An additional Rs 707 billion will be given to the provinces. Shaukat Tareen added that the federation would provide Rs 98 billion for the betterment of Karachi.
Salaries and pensions
The Finance Minister said that from July 1, the salaries of government employees are being increased by 10 percent, the pensions of retired employees will be increased by 10 percent, the orderly allowance will be increased from Rs 14,000 per month to Rs 17,000 per month. Similarly, the Integrated Allowance for Grade One to Five employees is being increased from Rs. 450 to Rs. 900. The minimum wage is being increased to Rs. 20,000 per month to reduce the burden of inflation on low income earners. No new tax will be levied on the salaried class.
Shaukat Tareen said that the current expenditure in the budget is being increased from Rs. 6561 billion to Rs. 7523 billion with an increase of 14% and Rs. 682 billion is being set aside for subsidies.
Point of sale machines
POS machines for wholesale and retail businesses are currently installed in 11,000 stores, which will be expanded in two years to 500,000 retail outlets that will be affiliated with the FBR. The government will provide free installation of these machines.
According to the Finance Minister, it is proposed to allocate Rs 100 billion for the Code Emergency Fund. Corona vaccine imports will cost کور 1.1 billion, and 100 million people will be vaccinated by June 2022.
Pak-China Economic Corridor
C-Pac has completed 17 major projects worth 13 13 billion and 21 more projects worth 21 21 billion are underway. 26 projects worth 28 28 billion are under consideration. Completion of Karachi-Lahore Motorway is among the priorities in the budget.
The New Year’s defense budget is 16% of the total national budget and 2.8% of GDP, of which the Pakistan Army’s defense budget is 7% of the national budget.
The Finance Minister said that Rs 91 billion is being allocated for ensuring water security, Rs 57 billion for the first phase of Dasu Hydropower Project, Rs 23 billion for Diamber Bhasha Dam and Rs 6 billion for Mohmand Dam. That Rs 15 billion is proposed for Nile Jhelum hydro project.
The Finance Minister said that Rs 118 billion has been set aside for power transmission projects, Rs 7.5 billion for power transmission lines in Islamabad and Lahore and Rs 8.5 billion for generating 2160 MW of electricity from Dasu. Have gone He said that sales tax withholding is being imposed on reclaimed and used lead batteries.
Grants for Balochistan, Gilgit-Baltistan, Azad Kashmir, Sindh
According to the Finance Minister, Rs 20 billion for South Balochistan Development Plan, Rs 40 billion for Gilgit-Baltistan Socio-Economic Development Plan, Rs 47 billion for grant-in-aid to Gilgit-Baltistan, Rs 60 billion for grant-in-aid to Azad Kashmir and Rs 60 billion for Sindh. It is proposed to allocate Rs. 19 billion for grant-in-aid, Rs. 10 billion for grant-in-aid to Balochistan in addition to NFC’s share, Rs. 5 billion for new census and Rs. 5 billion for holding local elections.
Anti-Rape Fund, HEC, PIA, Steel Mills, Census
The Finance Minister said that Anti-Sexual Abuse Fund is being set up for which Rs. 100 million, Rs. 66 billion for Higher Education Commission and another Rs. 44 billion for development budget have been allocated which will be increased by Rs. 15 billion later. Rs 20 billion has been earmarked for PIA and Rs 16 billion for steel mills. 5 billion has been allocated for census and 5 billion for local government elections.
Small business exempt from sales tax
The Finance Minister said that the domestic industry with an annual turnover of up to Rs. 10 million was exempted from registration in sales tax. Regulatory duty on cotton yarn and 5% customs duty have also been abolished. Additional customs duty and regulatory duty on 164 tariff headings of textile related items have been abolished this financial year to further strengthen the industrial economy. Excess active pharmaceutical ingredients have been exempted from paying customs duties.
Decrease in the discretionary powers of the tax authority
Shaukat Tareen said that a third party audit would be conducted instead of FBR to prevent misuse of discretionary powers of audit and inquiry by the tax authorities.
The federal development budget for the next financial year has been increased from Rs. 630 billion to Rs. 900 billion, an increase of 40%. Out of this, federal ministries will get development budget of Rs 672 billion, Rs 4.29 billion for aviation division, Rs 56.2 billion for cabinet division, Rs 14 billion for climate change, Rs 30 crore for commerce division, Rs 9 billion for education and training ministry and finance ministry. Rs 94 billion, Higher Education Commission Rs 37 billion, Housing and Construction Rs 14.94 billion, Ministry of Human Rights Rs 22 crore, Ministry of Industry and Production Rs 3 billion, Ministry of Information Rs 1.84 billion, Ministry of IT Rs 8 billion, inter-provincial liaison. 2.56 billion, Rs. 22 billion for Home Ministry, Rs. 61 billion for Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan, Rs. 6 billion for Law and Justice, Rs. 4.95 billion for Shipping and Maritime Affairs, Rs. 33 crore for Anti-Narcotics Ministry, Rs. 12 billion for Food Security 22.82 billion for health services, 45.9 million for national heritage and culture, 3.7 billion for petroleum division, 99.25 billion for planning ministry, 118.9 million for social security, 30 billion for railway division, science and technology. 11 billion, water resources Rs. 110 billion, NHA Rs. 113.95 billion, Rs. 53 billion for PEPCO Development budget has been set. Rs 60 billion has been allocated for other needs and emergencies.
At the end of the speech, the Prime Minister went to his seat and applauded the Finance Minister. The National Assembly session was adjourned till 4 pm on Monday.