Government seek approval from Parliament for ‘Mini Budget’

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ISLAMABAD: Following President Dr Arif Alvi’s advice to present the ‘mini-budget ordinance’ in the parliament, the federal government has decided to table the bill in the legislature for approval as it scrambles to meet the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) pre-conditions for the stalled $1.1 billion loan.

Pakistan and the IMF will resume talks virtually next week after 10 days of face-to-face discussions in Islamabad on how to keep the country afloat ended without a deal. Senior officials of the finance ministry told Geo News that the bills will be laid down before the National Assembly and Senate subsequently tomorrow, following which both houses will refer the matter to their respective finance committees for further deliberations.Once the bill is approved by both houses, it will be sent to the president for ratification, the officials said, noting that the move would fulfil all pre-requisites of the IMF programme.Then, IMF and Pakistan will sign the Memorandum of Economic and Fiscal Policies (MEFP). Then the IMF executive board, on the recommendation of the delegation which visited Pakistan, will approval release of the tranche,” they added.

After securing the Washington-based lender’s loan, Pakistan is expecting about $5 billion from friendly countries and multilaterals — China, Saudi Arabia, and UAE, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).The development came after Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Senator Ishaq Dar met Dr Alvi at the President’s House, where the latter suggested presenting the finance bill in the parliament.”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.

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