ISLAMABAD: Asad Umar addressing National Assembly session said that it was not a mini-budget, but a package for economic reforms. “The government wants a resolution to economic woes of the country”, he added.
Highlights of Government Economic Package
Exemption from withholding tax
Asad Umar said that in 6 months, agricultural loans will see an increase of 22 per cent. He said that the government wanted to encourage small businesses, and if they got loans from banks, businesses would flourish.
“Hence, the government is reducing the income tax on banks from 39 per cent to 20 per cent. Also, banks’ income tax on agricultural loans is being reduced to 20 per cent”, he said.
Finance Minister said that the government wanted to encourage the people to become regular income tax filers, therefore, the government was abolishing the withholding tax for filers on banking transactions.
Non-filers to purchase cars above 1300cc
Announcing the removal of ban on non-filers to purchase cars above 1300cc, the finance minister said they could now buy cars above 1300cc but with an increased tax.
‘Qarz e Hasna’ scheme
The finance minister also informed that the government was bringing a Rs. 5bn revolving fund for a ‘Qarz e Hasna’ scheme.
He also said the government was ending the six per cent tax regime on business accounts, whereas the business would now need to submit withholding tax details only twice a year.
Tax Reduction on Small Marriage Halls
Finance minister also said that the government was reducing tax on small marriage halls from Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 5000.
Umar said that the parliament and the constitution had a responsibility to reduce inequality between the rich and the poor, which was not fulfilled.
Medium-term economic framework
He said that the government would present a ‘medium-term economic framework’ next week, and hoped that the opposition would give positive suggestions to the government to improve.
Relaxation and Increase in Duties on Mobile Phones
Finance Minister said that tax for low priced phones will be decreased while will remain the same for expensive phones.
As the finance minister started his speech, members of the opposition started sloganeering against the government.
Finance Minister said that a pilot scheme to be introduced in Islamabad to facilitate traders in filing and paying taxes.
Duty on Newsprint Eliminated
The government has announced to eliminate Duty on import of newsprint.
Special Economic Zones
Special economic zones have been formed keeping in mind the interest of CPEC.
Incentives For Renewable Energy
In the next 5 years, those working to produce products for renewable energy will be exempt from sales tax and customs duty.