Senate: (Senate witnesses walkout over Increase in GST on Petroleum Products)

ISLAMABAD: Starting 34 minutes behind the schedule, the ninth sitting of the Senate’s 109th session on Thursday witnessed a walkout by opposition lawmakers against increase in General Sales Tax (GST) on petroleum products, says Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its daily factsheet.

The House took up a calling attention notice (CAN) sponsored jointly by five lawmakers of BNP-A, PML, PPPP and PML regarding 5% increase in GST on petroleum products through FBR, in violation of Articles 7 and 77 of the Constitution. Article 77 states that no tax can be levied for the purposes of the federation except by or under the authority of Act of the Parliament.

Besides those sponsoring the CAN, one senator each from MQM, ANP and PPPP debated it for an hour and seven minutes. The CAN was responded by the Minister for Finance, Revenue, Economic Affairs, Statistics and Privatization.

State Minister for Parliamentary Affairs introduced the Securities Bill 2014 to amend and consolidate the laws to protect investors and regulate the securities industry. The bill was referred to the relevant committee for further deliberations.

The House held a debate on the President’s address to the Parliament on June 2, 2014 that continued for an hour and 19 minutes. Three PPP lawmakers participated in the debate for 48 minutes while an ANP lawmaker spoke for 31 minutes.

Eight members (8%) were present at the start and 29 (28%) at the end of the sitting that was presided over by the Chairman.

The Leader of the House, the Opposition Leader and the parliamentary leaders of PPPP, PkMAP, PML-N and NP attended the sitting.

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