ISLAMABAD: Federal Finance Minister Muhammad Ishaq Dar said that the government has withdrawn the amendments regarding off shore companies on the objection raised by the opposition members.

He said this, while winding up the debate on annual budget of fiscal year 2016-17 in National Assembly here on Friday and felicitated the members of parliament and standing committees saying that annual budget enjoys the central status in economic policies of the country.

Dar announced more incentives and relief for agriculture, dairy and IT and Telecom sectors.

He said Sales Tax on imported and local tractors has been reduced from the existing ten to five per cent. Customs Duty on Harvesters and Planters has been waived off besides abolition of sales tax on laser land levelers.

The Minister said pesticides have been exempted from sales tax while GST on Urea fertilizer is being lowered from the existing 17 to 5 per cent.

The Finance Minister announced that relief and incentives being offered on fertilizer and other machinery related to agriculture would become effective as soon as the President gives his assent to the Finance Bill.

Rate of Sales Tax on import of machinery and equipment for dairy sector has also been reduced from 17 per cent to 5 per cent.

With a view to promoting high tech industry, customs duty on SIM cards and smart card manufacturers is being lowered from the existing 20 to 5 percent.

Shariah compliant companies, approved by the State Bank, would get 2 percent rebate in Income Tax in order to encourage Islamic banking in the country.

The finance minister said rate of withholding tax on cable operators in rural areas would be reduced.

He said FBR would not deduct tax from bank account of the tax payer until final decision of the appeal in the case.

The minister said except High Speed Diesel, GST on other POL product was less than what it was in March 2013.

He said the Government was laying due emphasis on hydel power generation and allocated 32 billion rupees for Diamer Bhasha Dam; 61 billion for Neelum Jhelum project; 42 billion rupees for Dassu and 16.5 billion rupees for Tarbela Extension four project in the next budget.

He said necessary focus is also being laid on CPEC especially its Western route.

The minister said 100 billion rupees have been allocated for rehabilitation of TDPs.

He told National Assembly that due to government's prudent policies and good performance for the last three years the inflation has come down to less than three percent and the prices are stable.

Ishaq Dar said the Federal Government employees would get 10 per cent ad-hoc relief in their salaries after merger of three ad-hoc allowances from first of next month.

He said merger of two ad-hoc increases was announced in the budget speech and today the Minister also announced merger of 7.5 percent ad-hoc increase of last year in the salary. He said with this the overall increase in salaries of the Federal Government employees would come to about 13 per cent.

The finance minister said rates of compensation allowance in lieu of residential quarters for personnel of armed forces have also been increased.

He told the National Assembly that a decision about increase in salary and allowances of parliamentarians would be taken after consultations with the Prime Minister on his return home.

Earlier, the National Assembly held general discussion and consideration of the recommendations made by the Senate of Pakistan.

Those who took part in the debate include, Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho, Muhammad Pervaiz Malik, Dr Amjad Niazi, Naeema Kishwar Khan, S A Iqbal Qadri, Sahibzada Tariqullah, Shazia Marri, Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao, Mahmood Khan Achakzai, Shah G Gul Afridi and Usman Khan Tarakai.

Later, the House started discussion on the Charged Expenditure included in Demands for Grants and Appropriation for the financial year ending on 30th June next year.

Speaking on the occasion, members said that there is great need to strengthen the national institutions including the National Assembly, judiciary, Pakistan Steel Mill and health and education sectors.

The House will now meet on Saturday at 11:00 am.