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June 16, 2022: National / International Current Affairs
1. Miftah delivers third fuel price shock in 20 days
• The government raised fuel prices by up to 29 per cent on June 15, 2022, removing fuel subsidies in an attempt to trim the fiscal deficit and secure critical support from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
• This is the third cut in fuel subsidies in about 20 days. The prices of high-speed diesel (HSD), petrol, kerosene and light diesel oil (LDO) have gone up by a massive 83pe, 56pc, 73pc and 68.4pc, respectively, since May 26.
• The ex-depot price of petrol now stands at Rs233.89 per litre, HSD Rs263.31, kerosene Rs211.43, and LDO Rs207.47.
• Speaking at an unscheduled news conference with Minister of State for Petroleum Musadik Malik, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail said the price increase was inevitable `to save the country from the default`
2. Governor clips speaker`s powers; PA placed under law dept
• The Punjab government on June 15, 2022 found a solution to its stand off with assembly Speaker Parvez Elahi, who had linked the presentation of fiscal budget 2022-23 with an apology from the chief secretary (CS) and inspector general of police (IGP), by clipping his powers and placing the assembly under the law secretary.
• Governor Balighur Rehman promul-gated The Punjab Laws (Repealing and Removal of Difficulties) Ordinance 2022, curtailing the speaker`s powers and empowering the Punjab law and parliamentary affairs department to issue notifications regarding summoning or prorogation of the provincial assembly.
• He summoned the PA`s 41st session chaired by Deputy Speaker Dost Muhammad Mazari and attended only by lawmakers from the ruling coalition at Aiwan-i-Iqbal Complex on Wednesday for the presentation of the province`s annual budget 2022-23, and supplementary budget for 2021-22
3. Supplementary budget posts Rs84.8bn increase
• The Hamza government on June 15, 2022 presented a record over Rs332 billion supplementary budget incurred by the Buzdar government, which resigned on April 1, during the financial year 2021-22. It was Rs84.8bn more than the last year`s over Rs248bn additional budget.
• Development sector claimed a major chunk of over Rs107.7bn, while state trading in food grains and sugar stood second with a demand of over Rs82.9bn.
• An additional amount of more than Rs57.8bn was sought for roads and bridges, while Rs23bn extra were demanded for relief measures and over Rs15.3bn for police
4. Punjab follows KP, Sindh, rolls out Rs3.2tr expansionary budget
• In line with the fiscally expansionary budgets presented by Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the coalition government in Punjab, led by the PML-N, also proposed a budget that seeks to significantly boost development spending, continue tax cuts and discounts, increase its subsidy bill to provide relief to the inflation-stricken people, raise taxes and levies on real estate and luxury houses and allow 15 per cent raise in salaries of civil servants.
• The Punjab budget with a total outlay of more than Rs3.2 trillion, including the highest-ever development spending of RsG85 billion, proposes increased development and non development expenditure of Rs485.26bn and Rs470bn 10pc and 27pc higher than last year`s original estimates, respectively
5. Rs10m a day for assembly
• The running of the Punjab Assembly will cost over Rs10 million a day during the next financial year as the provincial budget on June 15, 2022 allocated a healthy sum of Rs3.688 billion to it to meet its expenses.
• The current allocation represents a 23pc increase over its revised expenditure of Rs2.996bn the amount assembly spent last year. The budget document justifies increased allocation, saying that the legislature is being provided necessary, but rationalised, funds for performance.
• The premium provincial institution has been a centre of controversy for the last few days because of a standoff between the treasury, led by Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz, and the opposition spearheaded by Speaker Chaudhry Parvez Elahi, for first creating tensions between both sides during the election of the chief minister and then presenting finance bill