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June 10, 2022: National / International Current Affairs
1. Economic Survey 2021-22: Laying ground for a `tough budget`
• Painting a bleak picture of `exploding current account and fiscal deficits` Finance Minister Miftah Ismail on June 9, 2022 expressed the government`s inability to provide any relief to the middle class in next year`s budget rolling out on Friday (today) that would instead lay the foundations of economic stability through `growth with responsibility and sustainability`.
• At the launch of the Pakistan Economic Survey 2021-22, the finance minister and accompanying ministers for planning and power Ahsan Iqbal and Khurram Dastgir Khan spoke little about the otherwise broad-based economic growth of 5.97 per cent supported by buoyant agriculture, industry and service sectors during the current fiscal year.
• Instead, they focused their discourse on alleged devastation left behind by the PTI government in the form of a balance-of-payments crisis, and a ruined energy sector
2. Tax exemptions cost national exchequer Rs1.757tr
• Tax exemptions grew by 33.71 per cent to Rs1.757 trillion during the outgoing fiscal year (FY22) from Rs1.314tr a year ago, showed the Pakistan Economic Survey 2021-22 released by Finance Minister Miftah Ismail on June 9, 2022.
• The cost of tax exemptions continued their upward trend for the fourth consecutive year mainly because of exemptions on raw materials and semi-finished products in order to reduce the input cost of export-oriented industries.
• The FBR withdrew exemptions of nearly Rs350 billion, mostly in sales tax in January this year, while allowing partial exemptions on fertilisers and machinery as part of the IMF conditions. The government imported $2.59bn worth of duty-free Covid-19 vaccines between July and March (FY22)
3. Elections, NAB amendment bills sail through joint sitting of parliament
• Amidst an undeclared boycott by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), the joint session of parliament on June 9, 2022 passed three bills, including those related to electoral reforms and the accountability law.
• Amendments to the Elections Act 2017 sought to bar the use of electronic voting machines in the next general election and those to the National Accountability Bureau (Amendment) Bill were aimed at preventing the misuse of law for political engineering and victimisation of opponents.
• Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Murtaza Javed Abbasi moved the Elections (Amendment) Bill 2022,while Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar tabled the NAB amendment bill
4. Senate passes fiscal responsibility bill amid opposition`s protest
• The Senate on Thursday passed the Fiscal Responsibility and Debt Limitation (Amendment) Bill, 2022 by a majority vote without any discussion amid protest by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) members.
• The bill closely linked with ongoing talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was moved by Minister of State for Finance Aisha Ghaus Pasha.
• The bill has already been passed by the National Assembly.
• The PTI lawmakers gathered close to the chairman`s podium during the passage process and kept on chanting slogans
5. Only 1.77pc of GDP spent on education last year
• The Economic Survey of Pakistan 2021-22 has pointed out that only 1.77 per cent of GDP was spent on the education sector last year while the literacy rate was recorded at 63pc.
• `Cumulative education expenditures by federal and provincial governments in FY2021 remained at 1.77pc of GDP (revised estimates).
• Education-related expenditures during FY21 witnessed an increase of 9.7pc, reaching Rs988 billion from Rs901bn,` the survey noted.
• While highlighting the literacy rate, the survey said that during 2021-22, the Pakistan Social and Living Standards Measurement survey was not conducted due to the upcoming Population and Housing Census 2022