As the government is set to present its sixth budget on 27 April, the opposition in the National Assembly on Wednesday strongly opposed it saying the government had no mandate to present the budget for the whole fiscal year when its term is expiring by the end of next month. Naveed Qamar of PPP, Shah Mehmood Qureshi of PTI and Sahabzada Tariqullah of Jamaat-e-Islami were of the view that the government can present the budget for the next three to four months to cater to the requirements of the interim government but the budget for the whole twelve months will not be acceptable to them.
During a meeting with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbassi, the Opposition Leader Khurshid Shah told the prime minister that the outgoing PML-N government had no right to present a budget for the entire upcoming fiscal year,
The opposition members also rejected the tax amnesty scheme launched by the government recently under the banner of tax reforms package. Naveed Qamar said passage of the tax amnesty scheme through an ordinance is negation of the parliament and also contrary to the constitution.
Shah Mehmood Qureshi said if the government wanted to bring an amnesty scheme, it could be provided in the upcoming budget. He, however, was of the view that like the past, the amnesty scheme will not deliver the results. He said the tax amnesty scheme is for the affluent class. He said his party has no objections on the reduction made in the tax rates.
Responding to the concerns of the opposition members over the recently announced tax reforms package, Adviser on Finance Miftah Ismail said it is a historic and fantastic package in which unprecedented relief has been given to the salaried class by substantially reducing the tax rates.
He wondered why the PPP and the PTI are protesting over the tax reduction which has given raise often to fifteen percent in salaries to the employees.
The adviser also clarified that people involved in criminal activities or corruption cannot benefit from the tax amnesty scheme. He said the scheme is aimed at increasing the tax base and it will help attract more investment and spur industrial activity in the country.