National Assembly to debate finance bill as session begins today

February 20, 2019

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Finance Minister Asad Umar presents mini budget in Parliament on Jan 23. — File
Finance Minister Asad Umar presents mini budget in Parliament on Jan 23. — File

The National Assembly is set to take up the finance bill in its session, scheduled to start today at 4pm, with opposition planning to give a tough time to the government on a number of key issues — including placement of the name of Opposition Leader Shahbaz Sharif on the no-fly list, India-Pakistan relations in the wake of Pulwama attack and the recent visit of the Saudi crown prince.

Sharif's name was placed on the travel blacklist for allegedly possessing assets beyond his declared sources of income, informed sources told Dawn on Tuesday. They said a summary had also been moved for the placement of his name on the Exit Control List after the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) wrote a letter to the interior ministry, seeking placement of Sharif’s name on the ECL.

Talking to reporters after attending a meeting of the standing committee on Tuesday, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Mohammad Khan said the government had a plan to get the second finance bill, which had been presented by Finance Minister Asad Umar last month, passed by the house during its upcoming session.

The minister said that the members would be provided opportunity to hold a debate on the finance bill before putting it for a vote.

The government had presented the bill on Jan 23 and then the speaker had prorogued the session without any debate on it.