NA approves Rs 1.634 trillion demands for grant of Finance Division

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ISLAMABAD, June 20 (APP): The National Assembly on Monday approved as many as 27 demands of grant worth Rs 1,634,570,512,000 for Finance Division for the fiscal year 2016-17.
The lawmakers from the opposition moved around 205 cut motions,
which, however, were rejected by the House.

The demands of grant were presented to the House by Finance Minister
Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar.

The House approved Rs 1,569,969,000 for Finance Division,
Rs 5,244,159,000 for Controller General of Accounts, Rs 536,142,000 for Pakistan Mint and Rs 2,712,996,000 for National Saving.

It also approved Rs 17,874,473,000 for other expenditure of Finance
Division, Rs 240,274,426,000 for Superannuation Allowances and Pensions, and Rs 80,800,004,000 for grants-in-aid and miscellaneous adjustments between the federal and provincial governments.

As many as Rs 469,995,000,000 was approved for subsidies and
miscellaneous expenditure, Rs 58,000,000,000 for Higher Education Commission, Rs 1,163,617,000 for Economic Affairs Division and
Rs 147,693,000 for Privatization Division, Rs 334,604,000 for Revenue Division and Rs 3,693,402,000 for Federal Board of Revenue.

The House approved Rs 6,923,707,000 for Customs, Rs 11,179,189,000 for Inland Revenue, Rs 2,208,536,000 for Statistics Division and Rs 18,484,000,000 for Federal Miscellaneous Investments.

An amount of Rs 27,055,000,000 was approved for other loans and
advance by the Federal Government, Rs 167,355,487,000 for development expenditure of Finance Division, Rs 25,673,305,000 for other development expenditure and Rs 155,000,000,000 for development expenditure outside Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP).

The house also approved Rs 52,461,000 for development expenditure of Economic Affairs Division, Rs 687,304,000 for development expenditure of Revenue Division, 200,000,000 development expenditure of Statistics Division, Rs 261,038,000 for capital outlay on Federal Investments, Rs 218,285,770,000 for development loans and advances by the Federal Government and Rs 118,858,230,000 external development loans and advances by the government.

Discussing cut motions, Imran Zafar Leghari of Pakistan Peoples
Party (PPP) alleged that Pakistan was taking some Rs 8 billion debt
on daily basis. He accused the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) of
blackmailing the business community Malik Aamir Dogar of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) claimed that the poor were burdened further by imposing indirect taxes of Rs 150 billion. Population census must be conducted for equitable distribution of resources, he added.

Jamshed Ahmed Dasti of Awami Raj Party (ARP) criticised raise
in ministers’ expenditures and persistent increase in foreign debts.
Muhammad Muzammil Qureshi of Mutahida Quomi Movement (MQM) said
delay in the announcement of National Finance Commission (NFC) Award this year was not good. He also criticised the privatisation policy and suggested imposing tax on transporters.

PPP’s Dr Nafeesa Shah accused the government of fudging facts in the
budget.

Lal Chand of the PPP criticised Election Commission of Pakistan for
what he said failure to hold free, fair and impartial elections in the country. He criticised allocating Rs 20.50 million for constructing
wash-rooms.

Sher Akbar Khan of Jamaat Islami demanded opening a branch of
National Bank of Pakistan in his constituency.

Winding up the discussion, the Finance Minister said that the public
debt stood at Rs 2,940 billion in 1999 which increased in Musharraf
regime to Rs 5,800 billion. From 31 March 2008 to June 2013 it went
up to Rs 14,318 billion, showing an increase of about Rs 9,000 billion
and if circular debt included, it was then increased to Rs 12,000 billion.

He said the external debt was $49.29 billion in 2013, which now
stood $55.2 billion, As State Bank of Pakistan had over $16 billion
in reserves, that meant the net debt was $ 38.98 billion, he added.

He said,”We must make a strategy to gradually reduce the public
debt.” Certain elements were trying to create misunderstanding in that
regard, which was aimed at to stop the development process, he added.

He said the China-Pakistan Economic Corrodor was also being
criticized, clarifying that out of $46 billion, $45 billion were
private sector loans and majority of them were for energy sector
projects.