Senate approves 65 recommendations on Finance Bill 2019-20

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2319

ISLAMABAD: The Senate of Pakistan has unanimously approved 65 recommendations on the Finance Bill 2019-20 as well as 68 recommendations on the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) 2019-20, the Senate’s Standing Committee on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs reported on Monday.

Committee chairman Senator Farooq H Naik moved the recommendations, which were adopted by the house unanimously.

The Upper House approved the recommendation by Senator Shibli Faraz to abolish Ribah from the country’s economy at the earliest.

Meanwhile, proposals by Senator Kalsoom Parveen to give 10pc of basic salary as ad-hoc relief to all federal government employees of grade 17 and above, and 20pc to the employees of up to grade 16 were also approved.

The Senate approved the committee’s recommendation that ad-hoc relief allowances of 10pc for year 2016, 2017, and 2018 should be merged in the basic pay of civil servants and armed forces.

The Senate recommended that the tax rate on dividend income was 15pc for individuals, which was very high and it should be reduced to 10pc as provided earlier.

It also approved the recommendation to give tax exemption to those salaried people that earn up to Rs90,000 per month.

The Upper House approved the finance committee’s recommendations to allocate Rs750 million for Naltar-Gilgit Power Plant, Rs300 million for Naltar Expressway, Rs302 million for Harpo Power Plant, Rs200 million for a 50-beded cardiac hospital in Gilgit, Rs100 million for a polytechnic institute in Skardu, Rs3.85 billion for the sewerage and sanitary system for Gilgit, Rs2.1 billion for widening of 65-kilometre Botogah Road in Chillas, Rs750 million for Karagah energy corridor roads, Rs2.7 billion for a medical college in Gilgit, and Rs500 million for a women’s university in Gilgit.

The Senate also approved the recommendation of lowering the fiscal deficit target by 1pc from 7.1pc to 6.2pc of the GDP and also of reducing the fiscal deficit gradually to 5pc in the year 2020-21, and then 4pc in FY2021-22.

The house approved the recommendations of freezing the exchange rate to Rs150 per USD, besides fixing the policy rate at 9pc and making efforts to increase GDP growth rate up to 4pc.

The committee’s recommendation to place all important debt agreements that make Pakistan liable, such as IMF, should be placed before parliament immediately, was also approved.

The Senate cleared the recommendation that PSDP allocation for the Ministry of Climate Change should be enhanced minimum by 15pc.

It recommended the National Assembly that an exemption of sales tax for three years should be granted to the brick kilns who were upgrading their production to ensure environment-friendly standards.

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