Dar urges political parties to jointly formulate national economic agenda
Finance Minister says we fully respect the law and the constitution.
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has categorically said that state institutions are not creating any hurdle in the proceedings of Joint Investigation Team constituted to probe Panama case.
Speaking in the National Assembly on Wednesday, he said the institutions are providing all the required material to the JIT. He said the government respects the process of investigation but doubts and suspicions over it are also part of the record. He said we fully respect the law and the constitution.
Finance Minister said the Prime Minister, who will appear before the JIT tomorrow has also asked party workers to stay away from the JIT Secretariat.
Ishaq Dar urged political parties to sit together and formulate a national economic agenda for the country. He said the Speaker National Assembly may lead these efforts after the Holy month of Ramazan. He said it will be a great service to the nation if we agree on the agenda with an open heart.
The Finance Minister said he is firm believer that the future of Pakistan is bright. He said international financial institutions are also admiring the economic performance of the country.
About Supplementary Grants, the Finance Minister clarified that these are not unconstitutional.
He said we are also grateful to the Supreme Court for recognizing the government's stance on the supplementary grants.
The Finance Minister said the government is trying to bring them to the minimum level. He said we have succeeded to significantly reduce the supplementary grants to 121 billion rupees during the outgoing financial year.
The House today approved all 124 Supplementary Demands for Grants and Appropriations amounting to over 121 billion rupees for the outgoing financial year. These were related to different ministries and departments.
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar moved the supplementary demands for grants.
The House also held discussion on the Charged Expenditure amounting to over 68 billion rupees for the outgoing financial year.
These were related to the Senate, repayment of domestic debt, servicing of foreign debt, Supreme Court, Islamabad High Court, Wafaqi Mohtasib and Federal Tax Ombudsman.
In his concluding remarks, the Finance Minister said Pakistan has achieved economic stability due to the prudent economic policies of the present government. He said this process of forward march will continue with much more vigour in the times to come.
He said that we are thankful to Allah Almighty for granting us opportunity to present the 5th budget. He thanked all the Parliamentarians for their positive contribution in the budget.
The Minister announced honoraria equal to four months basic pay for employees of Senate and National Assembly as well as the staff of all the organizations deployed for the budget session.
He said he has received complaints about the non-payment of honoraria by different organizations. He said the National Assembly and the Senate Secretariat have all the record of the officials who attended the budget session. The Parliament should issue certified lists of the officials to their respective departments for payment of the honoraria. He noted the overall impact of the honoraria will be equivalent to five basic pays as it will be given in accordance with the new pay scales. Ishaq Dar said the National Assembly and Senate can also play their role in ensuring that the officials also get the budget honoraria announced in the past.
The chair said the non-payment of honoraria will be considered a breach of the privilege of the Parliament.
Taking the floor, Leader of the Opposition Syed Khurshid Ahmad Shah expressed serious concerns over the situation developing in the Gulf region. He said this situation also entails serious implications for Pakistan. He said the Prime Minister should have come to the National Assembly today to brief the House about Pakistan's policy on the matter. Turning to the internal situation, he said poverty ratio has increased in the country under the present regime.
The House has now been prorogued.