President Zardari signs Finance Bill; approves federal budget 2024-25

President Asif Ali Zardari

ISLAMABAD, JUN 30: /DNA/ – President Asif Ali Zardari signed the Finance Bill 2024 approving the federal budget 2024-25. A signed copy of the Finance Bill will also be sent to Parliament. The new federal budget will come into effect from July 1

On June 28, the National Assembly passed the federal budget amid opposition protests.

The National Assembly, in a session chaired by Speaker Ayaz Sadiq, approved the federal budget worth Rs18.877 trillion. However, the session saw a walkout by the opposition after they were not allowed to speak on their objections during the passage of the financial bill.

Despite the opposition’s protest, the assembly passed the provision to increase the tax rates on international air travel tickets. From July 1, passengers travelling in economy and economy plus classes must pay an additional tax of Rs12,500 on international tickets.

Tax hikes are more substantial for travellers in business, club, and first-class. The ticket tax rate for travel to North, Central, and South America has been increased to Rs350,000. Additionally, the tax on business and club class tickets for the USA and Canada has risen to Rs100,000.

For those travelling to the Middle East and Africa, there will be an additional tax of Rs30,000 on business, first, and club class tickets. Similarly, a tax of Rs210,000 will be levied on business, first, and club class tickets for air travel to Europe. The same tax rate applies to travel to the Far East, Australia, and New Zealand.

The budget’s approval marks a significant step in the government’s fiscal plan, despite the contention and walkout from opposition members who felt their concerns were not addressed.