President approves mini-budget to pave the way for IMF loan

ISLAMABAD    -   President Dr Arif Alvi on Thursday approved the Finance (Supplementa­ry) Bill 2023, also known as the mini-budget.

The approval was giv­en under Article 75 of the Constitution which states that when a bill is presented to the presi­dent for assent, the pres­ident shall within 10 days assent to the bill.

Earlier, the National Assembly had passed the Rs170 billion mini-budget with some tinkering, bringing Pa­kistan closer to the staff-level agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), but at the cost of push­ing people deeper into the poverty trap.

The lower house of parliament had approved the bud­get with a majority vote in the house. The approval has given effect to the new taxation measures of Rs170 billion, having an annual impact of about Rs550 billion. The majority of the taxation measures were imple­mented, although the president had not given his assent when the bill was passed by the National Assem­bly. Winding up his speech in the As­sembly, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar had admitted that “inflation was un­bearable for the people” but threw the blame on the maladministration of the previous government of for­mer prime minister Imran Khan. “Af­ter the approval of the budget, we are very near to the staff-level agree­ment,” Dar had said, while briefly speaking to the media. He had added that almost all major issues with the IMF were sorted out.

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