ISLAMABAD: The upper house of parliament on Wednesday unanimously adopted recommendations of the Senate Standing Committee on Finance on the Finance Bill 2020, containing the annual budget statement.
The chairman of the standing committee, Senator Farooq Hamid Naek, moved the motion in the upper house, saying it has recommended 40 amendments to the Finance Bill 2020 besides 53 general consensus suggestions.
The Senate recommended that salaries of government employees be enhanced at least 10 per cent and the centre should double the budget for education and health sectors.
Senators recommend 10pc increase in salaries; double health, education budgets
It demanded that budget allocation for the Ministry of National Health Services must be enhanced to a minimum of 5pc. The Senate recommended granting of tax relief for the manufacturing and supply of Personal Protective Equipment. Budgetary allocations for online education and the Higher Education Commission was also part of the suggestion. The house further demanded that the 11pc cut proposed on the share of provinces in the National Finance Commission award must be revised immediately.
According to the recommendations, tobacco must be treated as a crop like wheat, maize, and sugarcane and be exempted from taxes and duties. However, Federal Excise Duty on cigarettes should be enhanced as per the World Health Organization guidelines. It was recommended that custom duties of raw material, essential finished goods and plant and machinery whose domestic alternative is available in the country should be reduced to zero.
Published in Dawn, June 25th, 2020