The National Assembly session, recalled after an interval of many weeks, was adjourned on Wednesday for lack of quorum due to which not a single agenda could be taken up. The “mini-budget” planned earlier by the government could not be included in the agenda released by the NA Secretariat and subsequently it was not taken in the house proceedings, as the quorum caused adjournment of the session. As soon as the proceedings resumed with Speaker Asad Qaiser in the chair, Syed Naveed Qamar of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) was given the chair. He first expressed reservations about non-provision of gas to domestic customers in Karachi and later regretted the passage of presidential ordinance by the parliament. Qamar said he and his party had never been part of any such practice nor would they be in future. “In last three years during this government’s tenure, we always condemned these practices, staged walkouts but in vain. It is a strange government,” he regretted. As soon as he presented his concerns, he pointed out the quorum. The quorum was clearly visible as lacking from galleries. The draft of the Finance (Supplementary) Bill 2021 called “mini-budget” was prepared by the Ministry of Finance and was expected to be presented by the Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance Shaukat Tarin on the opening day of the session. Tarin has now become a full-fledged Federal Minister for Finance following his election as Senator on a seat vacated by PTI Senator Ayub Afridi from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The government a couple of days back, finalized the mini-budget involving fiscal adjustments and expenditure cuts worth about Rs600 billion as part of an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to cool down the overheating economy. Both the houses of parliament, Senate and NA are set to begin their winter sessions. On the other hand, the major opposition parties in both houses had vowed to resist the move with full force. As part of the adjustments finalized, the government had decided to reduce spending under the Public Sector Development Programme by Rs200 billion with Rs50 billion coming from decrease in general government expenditure. The withdrawal of tax exemptions will earn around Rs350 billion for the government. As per a report, the IMF actually wanted tax measures worth Rs700 billion, including withdrawal of tax exemptions and revision of tax slabs. However, an understanding for the current fiscal year was reached only on withdrawal of tax exemptions of Rs350 billion. The exemptions on food items, fertilizers and pesticides will remain. The IMF had also asked for an increase in tax on provident fund and upward revision in salary slabs for tax. However, this proposal has been set aside for the time being.