The National Assembly on Tuesday passed the Finance Bill 2021 with a majority vote despite protest by the opposition parties. Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin introduced the Finance Amendment Bill 2021 in the House, which was opposed by the opposition. The House approved a motion to introduce the Finance Bill which was challenged by Nawab Muhammad Yousuf Talpur of the PPP after which the speaker directed for the count of votes to begin. The House passed the motion with majority vote which led to the passage of Finance Bill, 2021, after clause by clause reading as well as voice voting along with amendments. After the completion of the counting process in the House, the National Assembly passed the motion to introduce the Finance Bill by a majority vote. There were 172 votes in favour of the Finance Bill while 138 votes were against it. The session was first chaired by Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri, after which Speaker Asad Qaiser presided over the session and Qasim Suri joined the members so that he may become part of the total strength. As many as 240 lawmakers participated in the debate on the federal budget. It is pertinent to mention here that Prime Minister Imran Khan was remained present in the House for almost one-and-a-half hours. Besides Prime Minister Imran Khan, former president Asif Ali Zardari and PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari were also present in session. However, very low attendance was observed by PML-N lawmakers. PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif, who is also leader of opposition in Lower House, was also not present in the House. Detained leaders including Syed Khursheed Shah and Ali Wazir also attended the sitting after their production orders were issued by Speaker Asad Qaiser. Addressing the budget session, Shaukat Tarin said the government paved the way for inclusive development in the country by providing a poverty alleviation road-map in Budget 2021, for the first time in the country’s 74-year history. The previous governments did not make any serious efforts to eradicate poverty, so today the government has to make a great effort to eradicate poverty, he said. The minister said that core inflation is still at 7 percent, food inflation is high and the only solution to current inflation is to increase agricultural production. He said the major cause for food inflation is the rise in international prices, which has led to higher inflation. Shaukat Tarin said that PML-N government had left a current account deficit of $20 billion, which the Pakistan Tehreek Insaf (PTI) government turned into surplus which was the major economic success. “The former government has left the liabilities, including current account deficits, external debt, circular debt and trade deficits, which led the government to go to the International Monetary Fund (IMF),” he said. Shaukat Tarin said that there would be no harassment for new tax filers but some measure would be taken by the government and only third parties would have a mandate to negotiate with them to settle the tax issues. He said the government has decided to introduce the ‘Universal Self-Assessment’ for engaging a third party approach to conduct the audit of 15 million potential taxpayers. He said the government has collected the information of these people from their electricity and other utility bills. He said that in the new auto policy, the government has announced a reduction of tax on the 1000 CC vehicles while it was already reduced for 800 CC vehicles. He said the government has also exempted the tax on children’s milk, medicines and medical equipment and the information technology (IT) sector to grant relief to the people. He said that the government has also exempted the taxes on mobiles and poultry industry including the poultry feed ingredients.