Govt to table Finance Bill 2023 today to fulfil IMF conditions

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ISLAMABAD: Both houses of the Parliament are convened today during which the government will table its money bill in order to fulfill key demands of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

As per the agenda, the National Assembly will meet at 3:30pm and Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar will present the Finance Supplementary Bill, 2023 in the lower house.

Sources, privy to the legislation, told The News that the bill is likely to be passed in one go in today’s sitting.

A session of the Senate has also been summoned at 4:30pm to move the bill there as well so the document can be sent to President Dr Arif Alvi immediately for assent.

The sources said the president could hold the bill for 10 days but he had assured Finance Minister Ishaq Dar of giving his assent soon after receiving the bill.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, who didn’t attend the last session, would be present during today’s meeting.

According to the publication, the government has been contacting the assembly members on an emergency basis to ensure the maximum presence in both houses. The exercise started Tuesday afternoon soon after the finance minister met the president.

The government decided to approach the Parliament after President Dr Arif Alvi gave the government a cold shoulder on bringing the mini-budget via an ordinance in his meeting with Dar.

“The president advised that it would be more appropriate to take parliament into confidence on this important subject, and that a session be called immediately so that the bill is enacted without delay,” a statement issued by the President House said after the meeting.

The president, in the meeting, was apprised by the finance minister about the government’s progress in talks with the IMF.

Dar informed Alvi that the government wanted to raise additional revenue taxes through the promulgation of the said ordinance. He also spoke about all the agreed-upon modalities with the global money-lending institution.

Soon after the meeting, the federal cabinet met and approved the finance bill.

Meanwhile, Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Raja Riaz Ahmad has asked his group members to attend the session.

Sources said the bill would be transmitted to the Senate soon after its passage by the National Assembly.

The Senate would condone the period fixed for deliberations through the suspension of the rules of business and return the bill to the National Assembly.