Tax free budget to address economic woes of common man: NA speaker

ISLAMABAD, Jul 02 (APP):Advisor to the Prime Minister Dr Zaheer uddin Babar Awan Thursday called on National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser in the Parliament House and discussed various issues encompassing parliamentary business and smooth conduct of budget session of the National Assembly.

Parliamentary business to be taken up in the forthcoming session of the National Assembly was also discussed.

The speaker while talking to the advisor said treasury and the opposition both needed to be credited for smooth conduct of the proceedings of the budget session.

He said members from both sides of the aisle were equal before him and he had always conducted the proceedings of the house strictly in accordance with the rules.

The speaker also praised the parliamentary leaders for their cooperation for facilitating the smooth conduct of budget session.

He said despite fiscal constraints government had presented a tax free and pro-poor budget for which the government needed to be appreciated.He said the tax free budget would address economic woes of common man.

The speaker said the COVID-19 had posed dent to the global economies and Pakistan was not an exception. He said presentation and passage of budget by the assembly was a constitutional obligation, thus in the presence of the pandemic, session was summoned under special arrangements.

He said despite aforesaid handicap, maximum opportunity was given to the members to take part in the general debate and other processes involved in passage of budget.

The speaker said 107 members from the treasury and 101 members from the opposition took part in the general discussion on budget.

He further said the general debate continued for 57 hours and eight minutes against initially decided 40 hours. He said 21 hours and 35 minutes and 18 hours and 24 minutes were allocated to the treasury and the opposition, respectively according to their numerical strength in the assembly; however the opposition and the treasury were afforded 10 hours and 49 minutes and six hours and 20 minutes, respectively over and above their actual time allocation.

Speaker Asad Qaiser said the COVID-19 disrupted the life, people and economic activity in the country.

He said working of the Parliament was also affected however; virtual meetings of the committees were convened during this pandemic in order to exercise parliamentary oversight on executive.

He said digitization of the committee rooms was being assessed to make permanent arrangements for virtual meetings of the committees so that they could more effectively play their constitutional role in case of persistence of this pandemic.

The advisor highly commended the magnanimous role of Speaker Asad Qaiser and said he had always been an inspiration for members of the Parliament.

He said the government was cognizant of the plight of masses due to COVID-19 and thus presented a tax free and balanced budget which would not only address the economic problems of the common man but also encourage economic activity in the country.

Dr Babar apprised the speaker about the government’s intent to summon session of the National Assembly on July 8, 2020 to take up various legislations pending before the house for passage.

He also apprised that summoning a joint session of the Parliament was also being considered during the forthcoming session to take up pending legislation besides other issues of national importance.

He assured the speaker that the present democratic government fully believed in supremacy of the Parliament and the constitution and would follow the guidelines of the Parliament in letter and spirit.

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