The government has postponed the National Assembly session, which was scheduled to meet on Monday (today) for the mini-budget presentation, due to a meeting of the foreign ministers of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). According to a statement, the Parliament House will remain closed from December 13 to December 20 in connection with a meeting of the foreign ministers of the OIC being held on December 18 and December 19. The meeting of foreign ministers from the OIC is being held in Pakistan after 41 years and in this regard, all activities at the Parliament House have been suspended. The session of parliament that was supposed to take up the mini-budget has been postponed as well. The government was all set to present its mini-budget, involving fiscal adjustments and expenditure cuts worth about Rs600 billion as part of an understanding with the IMF, in the lower house of parliament on Monday. In addition, the employees of the National Assembly Secretariat have been sent on leave for an entire week except for the ones who have been assigned duties for the session. This remaining staff can be called to the office on an hour’s notice and are therefore required to respond to phone calls and not leave the station without prior permission, the notification added. The purpose of the OIC meeting has been set as finding a solution to Afghanistan’s problems, and to provide relief during the war-torn country’s current economic crisis. All Islamic countries have been invited to attend the extraordinary session. Permanent members of the Security Council, European Union, United Nations and its aid agencies have also been invited to attend the OIC foreign ministers’ meeting. Besides OIC foreign ministers, some important countries, especially Germany, Japan, Canada and Australia, as well as the World Bank and other international financial institutions are also invited, according to some media reports. A high-level delegation from Afghanistan will also visit Pakistan to attend the OIC foreign ministers’ meeting. Earlier on Saturday, President Dr Arif Alvi summoned the session of the National Assembly on Monday (today) at 4:00pm. The session was called under article 54(1) of the constitution. The government has finalised a mini-budget involving fiscal adjustments and expenditure cuts worth about Rs600 billion as part of an understanding with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The steps will serve to reverse the effects of the federal government’s ‘pro-growth budget’ for Fiscal Year 2022 adopted only five months ago, according to some analysts. The steps are being described as the “prior actions” that will pave the way for submission of Pakistan’s request to the IMF board for approval in the middle of January. The board’s approval will ensure the release of $1bn for the country. As part of the adjustments finalised, the government has decided to reduce spending under the Public Sector Development Programme by Rs200bn, with Rs50bn coming from decrease in general government expenditure. On the other hand, the withdrawal of tax exemptions will earn around Rs350bn for the government.