Pakistan’s Parliament approves Rs 7.022 trillion federal budget

Pakistan‘s Parliament on June 28 gave its nod to the Rs 7.022 trillion federal budget for fiscal 2019-20, as the ruling party and its coalition partners comfortably defeated the Opposition’s move to block the passage of the Finance Bill.

The budget was presented in the National Assembly, the lower house, on June 11, followed by the heated debate over it that continued for several days.

It focuses on fiscal consolidation, revenue mobilisation, austerity measures, and protection to the vulnerable segments of society.

The Opposition had declared the bill as “anti-people” and announced using all powers to foil the official bid to get the mandatory approval of lawmakers.

However, the government mustered enough support in the House to get it passed as the Finance Bill 2019-20.

The treasury benches rejected almost all the amendments to the finance bill moved by the opposition members after there was a discussion on them by both sides, while some amendments moved by Minister for Finance and Revenue Hammad Azhar were adopted.

The government also foiled a bid by the Opposition to block the presentation of the bill for final voting with a 175-146 vote.

The finance bill now needs presidential approval to become effective from July 1 when the country’s new financial year will begin.