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Finance Minister Asad Umar presents mini-budget in National Assembly

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SLAMABAD: Finance Minister Asad Umar presented mini-budget focusing on enhancing ease of doing business, simplifying procedures for setting up businesses and undertaking investment.

Complete Text Of Finance Supplementary (Second Amendment) Bill, 2019

The government has proposed reduction of taxes from 39 percent to 20 percent on small and medium enterprises, agricultural, and housing loans.

He said withholding tax for filers is being withdrawn, while non-filers can purchase cars upto 1300 CC.

Asad Umar said tax on marriage halls of 500 square feet will be reduced from 20,000 to 5,000 rupees.

Finance Minister presented the Finance Supplementary (Second Amendment) Bill, 2019 approved by the Federal Cabinet earlier today.

He said it was not a mini-budget but rather a set of economic reforms. 

The Finance Supplementary (Second Amendment Bill), 2019 has been laid before the National Assembly by Finance Minister Asad Umar.

It envisages measures to boost manufacturing and exports, encourage low-cost housing and facilitate agricultural financing to promote economic activities, Radio Pakistan reported.

He said a revolving fund of Rs 5 billion will be allocated to provide interest free loans for the construction of small houses.

Import duty on newsprint has also been abolished.

Withholding tax on banking transactions ( deposits/withdrawals) for income tax filers has been abolished

Exemption on withholding tax on shares transactions.

Withholding tax on banking transactions ( deposits/withdrawals) for income tax filers has been abolished

Exemption on withholding tax on shares transactions.

He said special economic zones will be formed keeping in mind the interest of CPEC.

He also announced increase in tax for vehicles over 1800CC, while tax for low priced phones will be cut however, it will remain the same for expensive phones.   

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PAKISTAN

Indian Sikhs praise PM Imran Khan, video goes viral

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MUMBAI: A group of Indian Sikhs strongly criticizing their media channels for spreading fake news and broke their TV set, the video has gone viral on social media.

The Sikhs speaking in Punjabi language said, “We won’t watch TV from today as our media is spreading fake news. We will break our all television sets one by one.”

One Sardar Ji said, “Indian media is igniting war by spreading fake news.”

They also praised Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan for releasing Indian pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan, who was captured by Pakistani security forces for violating Pakistani airspace, without any condition.

The video of the Indian Sikhs praising PM Imran Khan and smashing their TV set with club has gone viral.

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PAKISTAN

No power can subdue Pakistan, say Imran Khan

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HYDERABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has reiterated the Islamabad’s desire for peace, but made it clear that the country’s armed forces and people are fully prepared and would fight till the end to protect the nation’s independence and sovereignty.

“Be it India or any [other] superpower, if anyone wants us to be subdued, we and our armed forces would fight to the end. Our people, as well as the armed forces, are fully prepared,” Imran Khan said on Friday while addressing a large public meeting at Chachro town of Sindh’s Tharparkar district.

He said Pakistan desires peace and has also sent this message to New Delhi time and again. “We also handed over to India their [captured] pilot, because we do not want war, and also offered Pakistan’s cooperation to India after the [February 14] Pulwama incident.”

The premier, however, categorically stated that no one should have any misunderstanding that it was due to any fear. “This is a new Pakistan and we want poverty alleviation.”

Khan said after coming to power, he talked to Indian PM Narendra Modi and told him that the subcontinent faces highest levels of poverty in the world, and that all issues should be resolved through dialogue. But I did not know that Modi will do all this after launching his election campaign, he added.

Addressing the Indian prime minister he said: “If you (Modi) indulge in any bloodshed of Pakistanis to win the [upcoming] elections, there should not be any misunderstanding, we will retaliate.”

Imran Khan said since he was born in an independent Pakistan as against his parents who were born in a slave India, his parents never let him forget this fact.

“When I describe Tipu Sultan as our hero, it is because of the fact that Tipu opted to fight for independence till his last blood, whereas [last Mughal Emperor] Bahadur Shah Zafar surrendered and accepted slavery,” he said.

Khan said all political parties had agreed as part of 2015 National Action Plan (NAP) that no armed group would be allowed to operate in Pakistan but the plan could not be fully implemented until recently.

“There are people among these groups which have done welfare works, they shouldn’t worry … I know there are groups whose militant wings have already ended but we are part of the international community and we will not allow any militant armed group to function here,” he added.

The premier was taking with reference to the government’s recent crackdown against proscribed organisations. The government on February 22 imposed a ban on Hafiz Saeed’s charity organisations – Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) and Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF) – ‘as part of the NAP’ and later launched a country wide crackdown against the group, taking over its properties and outlets across the country.

The crackdown took place in the wake of escalation of tensions with India after February 14 Pulwama attack in Indian occupied Kashmir (IOK). Indian had accused Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) group which it alleged operated from Pakistan. Islamabad had denied the claim and sought evidence.

Taking a jibe both at Narendra Modi and his political rivals in Pakistan, the PM drew a parallel between the sub-nationalist character of Pakistan’s political parties and Modi’s strand of religious discrimination.

“In Pakistan, some parties divide the country in the name of Pakhtuns and Balochs. And in Punjab when they [Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz] get into some difficulty, they raise the slogan of jag Punjabi jag [wake up Punjabis wake up].

“When Sindh’s rulers get caught in corruption cases they start to play the Sindh Card. Unfortunately, Modi politics is the same, based on dividing people and spreading hatred,” he said.

Khan specifically referred to Altaf Hussain, former chief of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), and accused him of destroying Karachi by dividing it on racial basis.

“One man spread hatred for power. He gathered the people and got vote by spreading hatred against other people.” He said if that ethnic strife had not beset Karachi for decades, the city would have been competing with Dubai in terms of prosperity and development.

In a rejoinder to the Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s speech in the National Assembly, Khan said a person cannot become a leader by changing his name. He said Sindh’s ruler was not familiar with ordeals and challenges of the political struggle.

“How did he [Bilawal] become a leader? He changed his name from Zardari to Bhutto. The leaders aren’t made through a piece of paper but through the struggle.”

He went on to criticise Bilawal’s NA speech saying a majority of people in Pakistan do not understand English in which he spoke. According to him, many MNAs especially from the PML-N and Jamait Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl, could not understand him.

“Their confusion was reflected in Namaz which they offered in the wrong direction [after his speech],” Imran said in a reference to the recent offering of prayers inside the assembly hall for the first time.

Khan again advised Bilawal to cultivate the ability of taking U-turns because, according to him, the leaders who have been through the cumbersome phases of political struggle know well the utility of making radical changes to the plans and policies.

“If you and your father [Asif Zardari] understood it well, you wouldn’t have been in trouble today,” he said, adding that it would have been a watershed ‘U-turn’ if the PPP had desisted from corruption after coming into power in 2008. “But now your father has trapped you. Your name has also surfaced in the fake accounts case,” he added,

Khan said the Indian Muslims and other minorities now realise that Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah was right to launch a struggle for a separate country because he had sensed the religious discrimination which the Congress was going to unleash. He said the religious minorities in India are persecuted and even a report of the United Nations has acknowledged the same.

“However, my government stands with the Hindu community. We will not allow any injustice to happen to them,” he assured while pointing out that around half of Tharparkar population comprises Hindus.

On the occasion, he announced to launch the PM health card scheme in Tharparkar. Under the programme, 112,000 families will get health cards and each family could avail free medical treatment in any hospital for up to Rs720,000.

He announced that the federal government would provide two mobile hospitals, four ambulances and 100 solar-powered reverse osmosis plants in Tharparkar.

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PAKISTAN

LHC to hear petition seeking Imran Khan’s disqualification on March 11

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The Lahore High Court on Saturday accepted for hearing a petition seeking Prime Minister Imran Khan’s disqualification on the basis of Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution.

The appeal, which will be heard on March 11, claims that Khan had concealed the alleged parentage of Tyrian Jade Khan White in his nomination papers for the 2018 election.

Tyrian While is the daughter of Ana-Luisa (Sita) White, the daughter of the late Lord Gordon White. It has often been alleged that Tyrian is Imran Khan’s daughter.

“Imran Khan did not mention White as one of his dependants in his nomination papers, and thus he does not measure up to Article 62 and 63 of the Constitution,” the petition read. Articles 62 and 63, set the precondition for a member of parliament to be “sadiq and ameen” (honest and righteous).ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER AD

The petitioner demands that Imran Khan be disqualified by the Lahore High Court.

Earlier this year, on January 21, the Islamabad High Court had also thrown out a similar petition terming it non-maintainable as it involved personal matters.

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