Govt, Opposition lock horns in Senate over content of money bill

ISLAMABAD, Feb 04 (APP): The treasury and opposition lawmakers locked horns in Senate on Tuesday over content transmitted to the House on the Tax Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020 mentioning it as Ordinance on the hard copy laid before the House.

Parliamentary leader of Pakistan Peoples Party Sherry Rehman raised objection over agenda item pertaining to laying a copy of Money Bill, the Tax Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020.

She said both the houses were in sessions and alleged that the government was trying to pass an ordinance; she said this was not yet discussed in the finance committee and how heavy taxes were being imposed.

Leader of the House Syed Shibli Faraz said that the opposition was creating unnecessary confusion. It was a money bill and would be referred to the Finance Committee for giving recommendation to the House, he added.

He said, ‘the opposition attitude is not acceptable’ and urged the chair to refer it to the concern standing committee.

Quoting the Article 73 of the Constitution, he said, “Notwithstanding anything contained in Article 70, a Money Bill shall originate in the National Assembly: Provided that simultaneously when a Money Bill, including the Finance Bill containing the Annual Budget Statement, is presented in the National Assembly, a copy thereof shall be transmitted to the Senate which may, within fourteen days, make recommendations thereon to the National Assembly.

He said ordinance always laid in form of a bill in the House adding that technical issue could not be put for voting.

Shibli said the money bill was laid as per law, regulation and the constitution in the House. He also offered that he would seek apology from the House if someone prove that it was laid against the rules.

Leader of the opposition Raja Zafar ul Haq and other opposition members repeatedly called for taking the House sense on the issue. They said that House was supreme and let it decide.

Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Azam Swati said the ordinance was promulgated on December 28, 2019 when no house was in session.

Meanwhile, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Azam Swati on behalf of Advisor to PM on Finance and Revenue laid a copy of the Money Bill, the Tax Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020 as required under Article 73 of the Constitution.

He also moved that the Senate may make recommendations, if any, to the National Assembly on the Money Bill, 2020.

The Deputy Chairman said that the members could give their recommendations till Friday.

Govt to resolve issue of gas shortage: Omar