NA condemns Israeli State terrorism against Palestinians

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26th Constitution Amendment Bill tabled in National Assembly

ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly today unanimously passed a resolution strongly condemning the Israeli state terrorism against unarmed Palestinian protestors in Gaza.
The resolution moved by Shireen Mazari of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf also denounced the US’s decision to shift its embassy to Jerusalem occupied by Israel. It termed the US’s decision contrary to the UNSC resolutions.
The resolution demanded the UN Security Council and the International community to take action against the massacre of Palestinian people by the occupying Israeli forces.
Meanwhile, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail has said that the present government has given unprecedented tax relief to every segment of the society in the next year’s budget.
Winding up debate on the next year’s fiscal budget, he rejected the impression that the government has increased the burden of taxes on low income groups. He clarified we have reduced the burden of taxes on low income groups against the proposal of the opposition to increase the tax rate. He said the government believes in serving the masses and upholding the supremacy of democracy.
The Finance Minister also assured that adjustment in the upper limit of Petroleum Development Levy will not increase the prices of petroleum products.
Miftah Ismail said that the allocations of Benazir Income Support Program (BISP) have been enhanced three times whilst ten billion rupees have been proposed for Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal for the next fiscal year.
He said we have also increased power subsidy to one hundred and fifty billion rupees. He said we have added 12230 megawatt of power to the national grid which has greatly helped bridge the demand and supply gap. He said efforts are effort to reduce the circular debt in order to avoid outages in the summer season.
Miftah Ismail said that the exports are witnessing an increase following the incentives made by the government.
About the steps taken for the growth of agriculture sector, the Finance Minister said we have further reduced sales tax to two percent on the fertilizers. He said the farmers who will pay their outstanding bills in the first quarter of next fiscal year will be given exemption of twenty five percent in the bills. This will benefit the farmers’ community to the tune of six billion rupees.
The Finance Minister announced to enhance by fifty percent the conveyance allowance of government employees of grade 1-16. It will be applicable to the employees who sit for late hours. He said it is the priority of the government to provide relief to the low income groups and for this purpose the small housing schemes will be facilitated and encouraged.
He said that non-filers of tax returns will not be able to purchase property but the limit for this purpose has been enhanced from four million rupees to five million rupees. He also announced to exempt the matches industry from sales tax.
The Finance Minister expressed the confidence that the next year’s budget will give further impetus to the economy and generate economic activities in the country. He said we have spent resources on the welfare of people and today the economy stands at the record growth level.
Miftah Ismail said that the upper house furnished 157 recommendations for incorporation in the budget. He said of these one hundred and eight were related to the federal development budget which has been referred to the planning commission. He said the remaining forty nine recommendations were pertaining to the finance ministry. He said of these forty two have been adopted fully or partially.
The National Assembly held discussion on the charged expenditures pertaining to different departments including Pakistan Railways, civil works, Federal Tax Ombudsman, Islamabad High Court, Supreme Court, Pakistan Post.
The house has approved ninety four demands for grants pertaining to different departments for the next fiscal year. No cut motions were moved by the opposition on these demands for grants.
The house also passed a resolution demanding release of funds for construction of Hazara airport.
It was moved by retired Captain Safdar.
The house will now meet tomorrow morning at ten thirty.

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