By Sajjad Hussain
Pakistan’s National Assembly passed the controversial Finance (Supplementary) Bill, also called the “mini-budget” despite stiff resistance by the opposition parties.
The bill aimed to raise more taxes and duties and to empower the central bank were tabled on December 30 by the government to fulfill a key condition by the International Monetary Fund to approve USD 1 billion under the USD 6 billion Extended Fund Facility.
Leading opposition parties including Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) proposed several amendment in the bill but all of them were rejected while amendments suggested by the treasury were adopted.
The opposition claimed that additional taxes would hurt the already burdened masses while the State Bank of Pakistan (Amendment) Bill 2021, which was also passed along with the finance bill, would make the central bank stronger than the government and operate at its own will.
Speaker Asad Qaiser chaired the session attended by Prime Minister Imran Khan. ( PTI )