NA approves second mini-budget amid protests

March 6, 2019

The National Assembly passed the Finance Supplementary (Second Amendment) Bill, 2019 with majority vote amid jeers and shouts from the opposition on Wednesday.

The following amendments proposed by Finance Minister Asad Umar to make the bill “more comprehensive and investment-friendly” were approved:

  1. Import of plant and machinery by green field industrial projects to be exempted from customs duty
  2. Fire fighting equipment for special economic zones will be exempted from customs duty and advanced income tax
  3. Sales tax refunds shall be liquidated through promissory notes or bonds by FBR
  4. Proposed bonds shall be issued by FBR refund settlement company
  5. Non-filers will be allowed to purchase locally manufactured vehicles irrespective of engine capacity
  6. To encourage green field projects, business income will be exempted for five years
  7. Advance tax on profit payed on Pakistan Banao certificates, Sarmaya Pakistan Limited and duty drawback bonds will be exempted

 

For the first time, MNAs offered namaz during the National Assembly session.

Related: Mini-budget: Govt makes high-end mobiles more expensive, allows non-filers to buy 1300cc cars

The lawmakers stood in prayer in front of the speaker’s podium when the speaker did not let them speak. They were led by Jamiat-e-Ulema Islam’s Maulana Asad Mahmood.

Mahmood said the government was not allowing the opposition to speak.

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