AccessMyLibrary provides FREE access to millions of articles from top publications available through your library.
Byline: ANJUM IBRAHIM
The Finance Bill was adopted by the National Assembly on Friday. The PML (N) walked out as none of their recommendations were taken on board. MQM and the ANP, coalition partners, did not stage a walkout in spite of the insistence by the government that reformed General Sales Tax, also known by its less palatable title of Value Added Tax (VAT), would be effective from October 1.
The approval of the Finance Bill that disappointed analysts and the public alike therefore does not reflect a consensus. Unfortunately, the most memorable part of the Finance Minister's performance during the debate on the budget, and one may as well include his budget speech in this evaluation, was to state that those ministers who have more than six cars should be ashamed of themselves. One is at a loss to understand why this rather inane comment has captured the imagination of the electronic media. That the comment was inane stands to reason as the actual impact of one car a minister would not make any appreciable difference to Sheikh's revenue generation proposals or increase Pakistan's appallingly low tax to GDP ratio or indeed alter the expenditure allocation priorities away from current to development expenditure. Shockingly Sheikh chose not to dwell on Babar Awan's recent gallivant throughout the country on a chartered PAF plane at a cost of Rs 47,000 per hour, …