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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday directed the government’s spokespersons and ministers to counter the “fake narrative” of opposition parties targeting the recently-tabled mini-budget, which seeks to impose taxes to the tune of Rs375 billion.

In a meeting of the PTI spokespersons chaired by the prime minister who is also the chairman of the party, Khan said that the “propaganda” campaign, launched by the opposition against the mini-budget – which is yet to be passed by the national Assembly – must be countered with full force.

The meeting, which was attended by the party spokespersons, ministers and other senior leaders, was given a detailed briefing by Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin about the “The Finance (Supplementary) Bill, 2021”, which was introduced in the National Assembly last week.

The sources said that Tarin stuck to his guns that no tax was imposed on the poor man in the mini budget, which is going to be passed from the National Assembly in the soon to be called session.

Amid strong protest by the opposition parties, Tarin proposed amendments in income tax, sales tax and federal excise laws to impose Rs375 billion taxation measures to meet the demands of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

While instructing the government’s spokesperson to remove the public’s confusion over the mini-budget, the prime minister expressed displeasure that the details of the finance bill could not be communicated to the public effectively.

Prime Minister Imran was quoted as saying in the meeting that opposition was exaggerating figures in the mini-budget, which according to him, will only burden the common man by Rs2 billion. He said that the confusion surrounding the rebates and refund of taxes must be removed, adding the masses should be made aware of a documented economy, which he said is in the country’s interest.

He also directed the spokespersons to highlight other achievements of the government on economic front such as robust growth in agriculture sector, growing exports, and others.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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