The National Assembly has approved twenty nine demands for grants pertaining to the cabinet for next fiscal year.
397 cut motions moved by the opposition on these demands for grants were rejected by the house.
Winding up discussion on the cut motions, Adviser on Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan said the government is strengthening the institutions including those related to national security.
He said firm action has been taken against corrupt elements. Recoveries of one thousand billion rupees have been made from different mafias including land mafia.
The Adviser on Parliamentary Affairs said we have strengthened the economy despite the Covid-19. He said cash assistance was directly disbursed to the poor people in all the provinces under Ehsaas program after the break-out of the pandemic.
Babar Awan said the budget for next fiscal year envisages allocations that will also enable the poor in the rural areas to build houses. He said houses and flats are being constructed across the country under Naya Pakistan Housing Authority.
The Adviser on Parliamentary Affairs said it goes to the credit of Prime Minister Imran Khan for leading the austerity drive.
Earlier, speaking on the cut motions, the opposition members criticized the performance of the cabinet.
The House has also approved five demands for grants pertaining to Power and Petroleum Divisions for the next fiscal year.
The cut motions moved by the opposition on these demands for grants were rejected by the house.
Winding up discussion on the cut motions, Minister of State on Parliamentary Affairs, Ali Muhammad Khan said solar and wind energy projects are being executed under the government’s renewable policy to produce cheap electricity. He said we are faced with the issue of capacity payments due to the expensive power plants installed by the previous government. He said the circular debt currently stands at 2308 billion rupees.
The Minister of State said the government gave seventeen licenses for oil and gas exploration and about thirty nine discoveries were made.
Earlier, the opposition members voiced concerns over the gas shortage and electricity load shedding in the country. They said the government has failed to address the issue of circular debt. They emphasized the need for up-gradation of the transmission system.
The House has also approved fifteen demands for grants relating to the Finance Division.
The cut motions moved by the opposition were rejected by the House.
Winding up discussion on the cut motions, Finance Minister Shaukat Tareen said the growth rate will be taken to 5 percent in the next financial year. He said the growth rate remained four percent this year regardless of Covid-19 pandemic due to interventions made in different sectors.
Shaukat Tareen said the present government had to approach the IMF because of the flawed exchange rate of the previous regime. He said the government is demonstrating fiscal discipline and management. Our current deficit remains surplus while the primary deficit has been brought down to 1.1 percent of the GDP. He said this will be further reduced to 0.6 percent in the next year. He said we have also brought down the debt to GDP ratio.
The Finance Minister said the petroleum development levy was thirty rupees in the previous government while we have brought it down to four to five rupees. He assured that Prime Minister Imran Khan will not put any burden on the poor people. He said we have given a comprehensive plan for the poor households in the budget.
The Finance Minister said it is the first time after 50 years that short, medium and long-term plans have been prepared for the uplift of different sectors. He said we will exceed the tax collection target of 4.7 trillion rupees this year while the target of 5.8 trillion rupees has been set for the next fiscal year.
Pakistan is not diplomatically isolated rather engaged with different parts of the world: FM
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said Pakistan is not diplomatically isolated rather engaged with different parts of the world including Europe, the Muslim world, the US, Russia and the African continent to strengthen its relations.
Responding to the points of the opposition members in the National Assembly today, he said India’s designs to push Pakistan into diplomatic isolation have failed. He said Pakistan is no longer considered part of problem but part of solution.
The Foreign Minister said the relations with China are strong like never before. He said the present government has signed free trade agreement phase-two with China and collaboration is continuing in different sectors. He said Chinese President Xi Jinping will also visit Pakistan.
Highlighting the cordiality in relations with Saudi Arabia, he said the brotherly country has provided Pakistan oil on deferred payment. He said an institutionalized mechanism has been established with the Kingdom to fast track the decision making. Similarly, our relations with other Gulf countries including the UAE, Bahrain and Kuwait are strong.
He said the present government is advocating the policy of regional connectivity. We are looking for a new transnational railway project connecting Pakistan to Uzbekistan via Afghanistan.
The Foreign Minister said Prime Minister Imran Khan has internationalized the Kashmir dispute and forcefully pleaded the case of oppressed Kashmiri people at the platform of UN General Assembly. He said it is Imran Khan who exposed the real face of Modi and Hindutva philosophy. He said the way Pakistan supported Palestinian people in difficult times in recent time is also being appreciated by the Palestinian leadership.
The Foreign Minister said the one leader who has forcefully raised voice against Islamophobia is Prime Minister Imran Khan.
He said Pakistan should not be in the grey list as the country has fully complied with twenty-six out of twenty-seven action items of the FATF.
The Foreign Minister also briefed the house about the reforms carried out in the foreign office.
Later, the house approved two demands for grants relating to the foreign ministry, rejecting the opposition’s cut motions on them.
The house will now meet on Monday at twelve noon.