NA approves 35 demands for grants of over Rs765 bln, rejects all cut motions

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ISLAMABAD:The National Assembly Wednesday approved 35 demands for grants worth Rs765,194,682,000 for the next financial year relating to divisions of cabinet, establishment, aviation and capital administration, finance, revenue, economic affairs and associated departments of these division .
The treasury benches rejected all the cut motions moved by opposition members against these demands while cut motions moved for some demands of grantswere withdrawn by the opposition members.The finance minister could not present all the demands of grants due to pointing out the quorum by an opposition member, resulting in adjournment of theNA session till Thursday morning.
The government after rejecting all the cut motions approved Rs263,000,000 demands of grants for Cabinet, Rs6,343,000,000 for Cabinet Division, and also approved Rs276,000,000 for emergency relief and repatriation for which the opposition had withdrawn all the cut motions.The house also approved Rs6,207,000,000 for other expenditure of Cabinet Division, Rs97,000,000 for Aviation Division, Rs21,294,000,000 for Capital Administration and Development Division, Rs2,734,000,000 for Establishment Division, Rs636,000,000 for Federal Public Service Commission, Rs2,138,000,000 for other expenditure of Establishment Division, Rs986,000,000 for Prime Minister’s Office, Rs272,000,000 for Board of Investment, Rs70,000,000 Prime Minister’s Inspection Commission, Rs9,412,000,000, for Atomic Energy Rs14,741,438,000 for Development Expenditure of Cabinet Division and Rs614,000,000 for Climate Change.After withdrawal of cut motions, the house approved Rs432,000,000 for Textile Division, Rs7,663,000,000 for Communications Division, Rs14,480,848,000 for development expenditure of Communications Division and Rs1,687,000,000 for Defence Division.
The National Assembly also approved, Rs245,000,000 for Power Division, Rs 377,000,000 for Petroleum Division, Rs98,000,000 for other expenditures of petroleum division, Rs1,809,000,000 for Finance Division, Rs5,887,000,000 for Controller General of Accountant and Rs563,190,000,000 for subsidies and miscellaneous expenditures.In addition, Rs65,000,000,000 have been approved for Higher Education Commission, Rs5,296,000,000 for Economic Affairs Division, Rs378,000,000 for Revenue Division, Rs4,419,000,000 for Federal Board of Revenue, Rs8,088,000,000 for Customs, Rs120,138,000 for development expenditure of Economic Affairs Division, Rs1,523,999,000 for Foreign Affairs Division and Rs14,457,000,000 for Foreign Affairs, Rs160,000,000, Housing and Works Division,Rs3,800,259,000 for Civil Works, 160,000,000 for Housing and Works Division and Rs3800,259,000 for civil works.
Winding up the discussions on demands of grants and cut motions, Finance Minister, Dr Miftah Ismail said the government had taken many initiatives that had helped enhance exports from the country and reduce imports.He said due to the government efforts, Pakistan was becoming 8th fastest export growing country, adding that exports of the country witnessed 24 increasein March 2018 and 18 percent in April 2018 while the imports reduced by 2 percent.
He said the exports from the country were likely to grow by 20 percent in next two months as a result of prudent economic policies of the government.He said the incumbent government had completed many projects which the previous governments failed to do, adding that the Neelum Jhelum Hydro Power Project was initiated during Musharraf government and was left for Pakistan Peoples Party government, which also could not complete it, and was ultimately completed by the incumbent government.
Similarly, he pointed out that the Lowari Tunnel project was initiated by Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and no government could complete it, and the credit of its completion also went to the current government.He said the government had provided about Rs110 billion tax rebates to thesalaried and low income segments of the country, while strategy had been made toimprove the number of tax filers.Responding to various points raised by opposition benches on foreign affairs, Foreign Minister Khurram Dastgir said Pakistan had recalibrated its foreign policy framework to further strengthen its relations with regional countries.
He was of the view that it was Pakistan s biggest achievement that economic relation with its time tested friend China had deepened as a result of China-Pakistan-Economic-Corridor project.He said our relations with the Central Asian States had further improved and projects like CASA-1000 and TAPI would connect Pakistan with these countries. Dastgir said Pakistan was consistently engaged with Afghanistan to overcome misunderstanding and improve the bilateral relations, adding both the countries had launched an action plan for peace and solidarity.About Kashmir dispute, the Foreign Minister said Pakistan had strongly advocated the long standing dispute at all international fora. He said permanent membership of SCO was also a big achievement of Pakistan, adding the country s relations with Russia had also improved as both the countries had signed the first defense pact and also held joint military exercises.On this occasion, Sheikh Aftab Ahmed said the incumbent government had taken many measures to overcome load shedding, root out terrorism and stabilize economy.He said the industry of the country was completely shut due to energy crisis, however, the government added thousands of megawatts electricity into the national transmission system and overcame the power crisis.
He said the CNG was also available round the clock, which had closed due to gas shortages.He rejected claims of opposition members, saying that conditions of educational institutions had been improved while quota was being strictly followed in the Public Service Commission examinations and appointments.Earlier, speaking on the cut motions, MQM leader Sheikh Sulah-ud-Din said the government should take measures to introduce equal educational system in thecountry, as 95 percent poor people were facing problems in educating their children. On another cut motion, MQM legislator Abdul Waseem said energy crisis was worsening. Nikhat Shakeel and S A Iqbal Qadri also spoke on the cut motions and questioned governments performance on many fronts.– APP

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