National Assembly passes Finance Bill 2014
ISLAMABAD. June 21 (Online): The National Assembly has passed the Finance Bill 2014, giving effect to the budgetary proposals for the next financial year.
The House adopted some amendments moved by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar. It, however, rejected a number of amendments moved by the opposition members.
After the passage of the bill, the Finance Minister congratulated the National Assembly, Senate and the people of Pakistan on passage of the Bill. He thanked all the parties particularly the leader of the opposition Syed Khursheed Shah for extending support in passage of the Bill.
He said productive discussion was held on the budget and we adopted several proposals given by the Senate and the members of the National Assembly.
Giving good news on the occasion, the Finance Minister said Pakistan's reserves have now reached 14.2 billion dollars.
The house will now take up supplementary demands for grants and appropriations for the year 2013-14.
Earlier replying to points raised by Sheikh Rashid Ahmed and Dr. Azra Fazal, the Finance Ministr said the appointments in different departments are being made on merit according to the law and rules.
He said the Prime Minister has already said that the load-shedding will end during the tenure of the government.
He said a campaign has been launched against the theft of electricity and gas and as a result there is decrease in the theft by 1.5 per cent. He said it is the effort of the government to bring the line losses of electricity from 16 percent to eight percent.
The Finance Minister said the major focus of the budget is on the people living below the poverty line.
With a total outlay of 3945 billion rupees, the federal budget for next fiscal year envisages several initiatives to push up growth rate and investment besides relief measures for the common man.
Ten percent ad hoc relief has been announced for the salaried class and minimum wage has been increased to 12,000 rupees. Pensioners have been given a raise of ten percent while minimum pension has been increased to 6000 rupees.
Increasing the financial assistance for the deserving families to fifteen hundred rupees per month under the Benazir Income Support Program and announcement for launch of low cost housing units are some of the other relief measures announced in the budget 2014-15.
Special measures have also been announced for the agriculture sector.