ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Finance Shaukat Tarin on Thursday presented the much-awaited supplementary finance bill — termed by the Opposition as a “mini-budget” — in the National Assembly, as a pre-requisite to resume the $6 billion External Fund Facility (EFF) of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The Opposition staged a vehement protest and chanted slogans to prevent Shaukat Tarin from introducing the Finance Bill 2021 and SBP Amendment Bill in the House.

Besides the aforementioned bills, Tarin moved a resolution to “extend the Tax Laws (Third Amendment) Ordinance, 2021 […] for a further period of one hundred and twenty days w.e.f. 12-01-2022, under proviso to subparagraph (i) of paragraph (a) of clause (2) of Article 89 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

In addition, he moved another resolution “to extend the Federal Government Properties Management Authority Ordinance, 2021 […] for a further period of one hundred and twenty days w.e.f. 15-12-2021, under proviso to subparagraph (ii) of paragraph (a) of clause (2) of Article 89 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan”.

In all, eight resolutions were moved to extend various ordinances.

Opposition protests bill

PPP’s Naveed Qamar protested the government’s move to extend ordinances, saying that “they have expired, so how can they be extended?”

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan responded by saying that the government had introduced the ordinances in parliament prior to their expiry.

At one point in the session, PPP’s Shazia Marri objected to the strength of lawmakers in Parliament. At this, the speaker instructed all MNAs to stand at their seats for a headcount.

‘Don’t sell Pakistan’

Speaking on the occasion, PML-N leader Khawaja Asif said the sovereignty of Pakistan is being sold. “The nation is ashamed of what is happening in the House today,” he added.

He further said that the PTI-led government is trying to “enslave Pakistanis financially.”

“You’re giving the State Bank of Pakistan’s (SBP) control to IMF. Please don’t surrender Pakistan’s sovereignty,” he reiterated.

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