ISLAMABAD - The National Assembly on Saturday approved Rs3.936 trillion national budget, accepting some amendments moved by the treasury members and rejecting all those suggested by the opposition benches.
The government had presented the Finance Bill 2015 in the lower house on June 3 and after thorough debate approved it with majority of votes. The federal budget will be applicable from July 1, 2014, after the final assent from President Mamnoon Hussain, who will sign to make it act of parliament.
The incumbent government, in its second budget, introduced taxation measures worth of Rs231 billion and increased the salaries of government employees by 10 percent. The minimum monthly wage has been increased to Rs12,000 from Rs10,000 and the pensioners will get raise from Rs5,000 to Rs6,000. The BISP’s monthly stipend has been upped to Rs1,500, to facilitate around 5.3 million poor families.
“The approval of the finance bill has killed the false assumption about the default of country by June 2014, and credit goes to prime minister, lawmakers of both the houses and general public,” said Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, after the approval of the budget amid opposition’s criticism – especially over not increasing government servants’ salaries by 20 percent as they had demanded. Dar, vigorously sharing the ‘achievement’, said country’s foreign currency reserves had reached to $14.2b.
Earlier, the minister in response to the reservation raised by opposition lawmakers said that the issue of power outage would be resolved within the current tenure of the incumbent government. In response to the concern raised on electricity and gas theft cases, minister said government has launched effective campaign and theft has reduced to 1.5 percent.
The line losses have reduced to 8 percent from 16 percent,” he said. He further said special measures have also been announced for the agriculture sector. Dar also assured that appointments in different departments were being made according the law.