PTI rejects super tax, says it will intensify economic crisis
KARACHI: While reacting to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s super tax on big industries, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Secretary-General Asad Umar said on Friday that the super tax was a blow to big industries. growing industries.
Addressing a news conference in Islamabad, he said the measure would “shake the economy”, increase unemployment and inflation, push up imports and push Pakistan into economic crisis.
In an address to the nation today, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif announced a 10% tax on sectors such as sugar, oil and gas, cement, steel, airlines, fertilizers, LNG terminals, textiles, banking, automotive, cigarettes, beverages and chemicals.
Omar said: “This [super tax] is an attack on sectors of the economy that have growth potential, that can increase production and livelihoods, and that is why the market lost 2,000 points during Shehbaz Sharif’s speech.
“You can clearly understand how dangerous and fatal the budget is for the economy,” said the former federal minister.
For the past 20 years, he continued, Pakistan has had a policy of progressive reduction of taxes on industries. “But they’ve ruined everything now.”
He further said that even now, despite the increase in prices for all commodities – diesel, petrol, gas and food products – the Prime Minister has said that the agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will not be signed only if the fund does not make more requests. .“It’s a joke with the public,” he said.
He also claimed that the government did not care about the public because he knew the public never chose him. “All they care about are the people who brought them. How will America be happy? Will he be happy recognizing Israel? By extending ties with India or providing bases [to the US]?”
Meanwhile, contradicting the prime minister’s remarks about the PTI driving the country into default, Umar said that when the Imran-led government was “ousted”, the foreign exchange reserves of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP ) were $16.4 billion.
Umar added that the PML-N government presented the “true budget today”.
He specified that according to the Constitution during the presentation of the budget, the Senate had a period of 14 days to debate it and present its observations and reservations. “But they named the budget presented on July 11 provisional.
“Then they let 14 days pass and made an announcement today in which taxes of billions of rupees were imposed. This is a violation of the constitutional rights of the Senate,” Umar said.
He then requested that since the budget was finalized today, the Senate has 14 days from today to discuss it. “If this does not happen, the budget will become unconstitutional and can be challenged in court.”
Meanwhile, former federal minister and head of the PTI, Hammad Azhar, said the super tax meant “taxing already taxed people even more”, adding that it would “squeeze the formal sector of the economy”.
“The economy is in freefall and such a move at this time will reverse the industrialization momentum generated by the PTI,” he stressed.
Azhar pointed out that the industry was already facing crippling costs due to rising raw material and energy prices. “This super tax will be priced on their balance sheets and passed on to customers in many cases. This means even higher prices for the public.
Meanwhile, ex-Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin simply said the market no longer believes in the PML-N government.
“Realistically expected total Rs60bn from the super tax. Of this, Rs46 billion will come from banks. The total tax collection target is Rs7.4 trillion, which will be met by inflation alone. So , for a gimmick (like banning imports) they heavily taxed the already taxed formal sector,” he said.
Former Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said the collapse of the PSX showed the confidence the nation had in the Shehbaz-led government.
“Government economic policies are bankrupting Pakistan. Getting rid of this government is in the best interests of Pakistan,” he said.
Meanwhile, ex-Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin simply said the market no longer believed in the PML-N government.