PTI Government Survives Opposition Scare with Passage of Finance Bill | Security Risks Asia Made with Humane Club

PTI Government Survives Opposition Scare with Passage of Finance Bill

Published Jun 29, 2019
Updated Apr 11, 2020

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government was successful in passage of the finance bill passed in the National Assembly after a majority voted in favour even as the Leader of the Opposition Shehbaz Sharif proposed that the title of the Finance Bill be changed to ‘IMF Obedience Act 2019’ and the opposition threatened to stall the passage.  

However the Treasury benches succeeded in defeating opposition’s bid for halting the presentation of the bill by a 175-146 earlier in the day.

The total outlay of the budget was Pakistan Rs7.022 trillion which included focus on fiscal consolidation, austerity, revenue mobilisation, austerity measures and protection to the vulnerable segments of society. The bill now awaits presidential assent to come into force starting July 1. The opposition failed to divide the government led coalition leading to majority that could be obtained for passing the bill.

Meanwhile the ruling PTI and allied parties are preparing to stall the move by the opposition to remove the Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani and held a solidarity meeting, two days after a multi-party conference (MPC) attended by nearly all opposition parties decided to adopt a constitutional way for his removal.

In related developments, Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa blamed “fiscal mismanagement” for the country’s economic woes as he now also a part of the newly formed committee responsible for steering the economy. Prime Minister Imran Khan has blamed previous governments for the country’s economic problems. “We’re going through a difficult economic situation due to fiscal mismanagement,” Gen Bajwa told a seminar at Islamabad’s National Defence University, according to a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations. “We understand that the government has gone for difficult but quintessential decisions for long-term benefits and what we’re doing is playing our part,” he said.

The Pakistan Armed Forces have for the first time accepted that the defence budget will remains static as the previous levels due to financial constraints faced by the country but what critics claim may be more to appease the International Monetary Fund (IMF).