Saturday, September 18, 2021

Dar seeks amendment in definition of ‘federal government’


ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has sought amendment in the definition of the government, arguing that the move will help in smooth running of state affairs.

Wrapping up the budget debate in the Senate, Dar told the House that “Our hands will be tied and it will not be possible to carry out work unless the current definition is reversed.”

The finance minister pointed out that under the present arrangement, nothing could be done without the approval of the cabinet, saying that certain matters required immediate decision making and issuance of notifications. “The proposal is to replace the words the federal government with the minister in charge in the finance bill. We need a legal amendment and will be ready to revert once it is passed,” he added.

He referred to the Supreme Court’s judgement holding that the prime minister was not the federal government and it meant the prime minister and the cabinet, he maintained the Supreme Court judgement would be honoured, but added that the court would interpret the law as it was.

He also explained the House reasons for delay in announcement of the next NFC award, saying two issues had cropped up recently. He said the government wanted to allocate three per cent each out of the gross divisible pool to meet expenses for additional security and Azad Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan and Fata. He said Rs90-100 billion were being spent annually on the war on terror without any foreign support.

He underlined that an organised mafia in the country was earning around Rs200 million per year in the name of octroi tax and it enjoyed a massive political support.


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