ISLAMABAD Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh on Wednesday termed the budget pro-poor and vowed that the tax collection system will be improved for income generation. Hafiz Sheikh, while winding up the debate on the Finance Bill 2011-12 in the presence of Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and some of his cabinet members, said that the upper house had forwarded 66 recommendations to the lower house and these would be given due weight during the passage of budget. He said that the government had made consultations with the opposition in budget making process while Finance Committees of the Parliament, chambers of commerce and industrialists had also been taken on board. The minister said that fiscal deficit would be reduced by 4 per cent in the next fiscal year. We are decreasing the government expenditures and bringing the powerful lobbies under the sales tax net, he added. He said that the government was simplifying the tax collection system by introducing only two forms of taxes i.e. sales tax and income tax. More direct taxes are being imposed, the minister said. He also informed the house that the government with the help of Nadra had pointed out some0.7 million people who were not paying taxes despite leading luxurious lives, and they would be included in the tax net. He said that out of 397 items, 392 items had been completely exempted from regulatory duty adding that there would be complete exemption of federal excise duty on 97 items within two years. He said 17 items had been exempted from federal excise duty and 57 more items would be exempted from it during next two years year. The finance minister informed the house that the last years floods caused $10 billion loss to the national economy that affected an estimated 2 per cent growth rate. Amid the speech of the finance minister, the journalists covering the press gallery walked out from the house demanding the constitution of a commission to investigate the killing of Saleem Shahzad till its adjournment on Thursday at 10:30am. Earlier, Haji Adeel Ahmed and Abdul Ghafoor Haideri of JUI-F, raising the issue of life threats being given to journalists and their killings, supported the demand of the journalist community that commission should be formed under the supervision of an SC judge to investigate the brutal murder of journalist Saleem Shahzad.