Govt presents tax laws amendment bill in Senate

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Amid opposition from the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government presented draft regulations of money bill and Tax Laws Amendment Bill, 2020, in the Senate session on Tuesday.

Federal Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Azam Swati presented the bills in the session, drawing criticism from the opposition benches. PML-N’s Raja Zafarul Haq objected over the procedure for presenting bills in the upper house and said that his party was rejecting the bill.

Responding to Haq’s comments, Swati said that the government had presented it before the lower house as well and it was necessary to pass it immediately.

PPP’s Sherry Rehman questioned the presentation of the money bill and said that her party will not allow the government to bulldoze bills through the parliament. “The government is running both houses of the parliament as an ordinance factory,” she added.

Swati replied that the government had issued the ordinance due to delay in the session of the National Assembly (NA). “However, the bill has already been presented in the lower house,” he added.

Leader of the House in the Senate Shibli Faraz said that an ordinance produced in the parliament is considered as a bill. He urged the opposition to avoid creating an issue on the matter just because they are in a majority. He also suggested that the matter should be forwarded to the Standing Committee on Finance.

Following Faraz’s comments, Swati said that it is useless to teach the “illiterate people” of the House, drawing the outrage of opposition members who stood up to protest his comments.

Taking notice of the opposition’s protest, Senate Deputy Chairman Saleem Mandviwalla omitted Swati’s words.

Later, Swati presented a copy of the bill before the Senate.

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