MNAs endorse budget proposals recommended by Senate

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ISLAMABAD, June 17 (APP): Parliamentarians from both sides of aisle in the National Assembly, on Friday endorsed different proposals, forwarded by the Senate to make Budget 2016-17 more beneficial for ensuring overall development of the country.

Participating in the discussion on proposals sent by the Upper House, MNA Dr. Azra Fazal of Pakistan People Party said that the budget ought to be scrutinized by the parliament and it should be involved in budget-making process.

She endorsed the Senate recommendations for putting the minimum wages in place and also highlighted the importance of implementing the agriculture loans and subsidies in Balochistan.

She said that Pakistan was a water-scarce country; hence the water conservation strategy should be put in place to avoid water disputes.

Pervaiz Malik of Pakistan Muslim League (N) also endorsed the proposals and said budget review should be made mandatory in six months.

He stressed the need for reducing the mark-up rate on agriculture loans.

He supported the proposals for expansion of Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) and raise in the salaries of parliamentarians.

He said that the pensions of retired employees who take their pensions from Employees Old-Age Benefits Institution (EOBI) should be raised from Rs 5250 and urged the government to support them through financial assistance from Workers Welfare Fund.

He said the stationery items should be zero rated.

Amjad Nizai of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf said the mark-up rate on agriculture loans should be put below 2 percent to facilitate the farmers.

He also endorsed reducing duty on agriculture machinery imports.

He said that an Economic Zone should be established on the Western Rout of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to develop these backward areas.

He said Pakistan has great potential of tax collection and currently it was mere 33 per cent which could be enhanced up to 80-90 per cent through tax reforms.

He said tax reforms were mandatory for retiring the public debt.