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June 22, 2022: National / International Current Affairs
1. Balochistan presents Rs613bn budget
• The Balochistan government presented a deficit budget for the next fiscal year on June 21, 2022 with a total outlay of Rs612.79 billion.
• With the provincial income estimated at Rs540bn, the deficit would stand at Rs72.8bn, or around 12 per cent of the outlay. The budget sets aside 5.7pc and 3.7pc higher allocations for non-development and development heads, respectively, compared to the original estimates for the outgoing fiscal year.
• In the budget for the outgoing year, the provincial government indicated a deficit of Rs84.7bn in its estimated resources and expenditure, which is projected to curtail the originally allocated provincial contribution to the development plan from Rs172.5bn to Rs91.8bn by the close oftheyearonJune30.
• Thus, it is safe to assume that the failure to take in enough resources to fill the projected deficit, the province is likely to end up cutting its development stimulus by a huge margin next year as well
2. `Lifeline` IMF deal secured
• In a breakthrough, Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on June 21, 2022 night reached an understanding on the federal budget for 2022-23, leading to revival of the extended fund facility (EFF) after authorities committed to generate Rs436 billion more taxes and increase petroleum levy gradually up to Rs50 per litre.
• The understanding was reached during a meeting, held via video link, between the IMF staff mission and the Pakistani economic team, led by Finance Minister Miftah Ismail.
• The IMF mission will finalise monetary targets with the State Bank over the next couple of days and, in the meantime, share the draft of a Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policy (MEFP)
3. Speaker-led Punjab PA legislates sans Hamza govt
• The Punjab Assembly session convened by Speaker Parvez Elahi passed the Punjab Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Bill 2020 in the absence of the law minister and any member of the treasury, who were holding a parallel session in a nearby official building here on June 21, 2022.
• The private bill was moved by Mian Shafi Muhammad. It was supported by members from both sides of the aisle and then referred to the standing committee on school education in December 2020. The panel had accorded its approval, yet the draft had been pending since then.
4. Cabinet bets on Sukuk bonds for economic stability
• The federal cabinet on June 21, 2022 decided to issue Sukuk bonds and impose more tax on wealthy people to provide relief to the poor who were burdened by unprecedented inflation.
• Presided over by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, the meeting decided to issue Sukuk bonds in both local and international markets on 40 assets including highways, lands and hotels of the defunct Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC).
• Talking to media after the meeting, the prime minister said: `We will not hesitate to take any step that helps strengthen the economy.` He said in the budget 2022-23, the coalition government had decided to redistribute the economic burden on the poor by taxing the rich
5. CM announces regularisation of all 58,000 ad hoc teachers
• Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan has announced to regularise all the ad hoc teachers from the date of their appointment.
• He made the decision while talking to a delegation of the young teachers association, which called on him here on June 21, 2022.
• The chief minister said seniority of all the regularised teachers would remain intact from the same date, whereas annual increments of employees would be absorbed in their basic pay.
• The chief minister said he had signed the summary for regularisation of teachers and a draft bill to this effect would be submitted to the provincial assembly after approval from the provincial cabinet