- Premier says budget offers more educational opportunities for the youth
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Sunday praised the proposed federal budget for the fiscal year 2022-23 on Sunday, calling it a "significant improvement in several ways" over the budgets presented by the previous government.
Taking to Twitter, PM Shehbaz said that the budget provided more "educational opportunities for our youth, particularly from Balochistan, and targeted subsidies for financially weaker people".
"More importantly, it has taxed non-productive assets of the rich," the prime minister concluded.
His tweet comes after former premier and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan criticised the government for reducing funds for tribal districts.
Imran Khan said that his government had set aside Rs131 billion for the ex-FATA region whereas the current government has reduced the development funding to only Rs110 billion. He said there was no allocation for displaced persons.
Earlier, the government proposed a Rs9.5 trillion inflationary budget in an attempt to meet ambitious targets. The budget 2022-23 provided relief to the salaried class as their tax burden was significantly lessened in addition to a 15% increase in salaries of the inflation-stricken government employees.
The government has proposed Rs740 billion in new taxes, including Rs440 billion tax measures proposed by the Federal Board of Revenue. Some of the major relief measures will be offset by the increase in petroleum price rates due to a Rs50 per litre levy along with 17% sales tax.
The sectors that were taxed are the real-estate sector, the wealthiest people in the country, and commercial banks.
The retailers have been taxed at a fixed rate through electricity bills while the wealthiest Pakistanis holding offshore assets will pay annually 1% of the value of their foreign assets in taxes.
The tax burden on registration of luxury cars above 1,600cc has been doubled while the rates on sales, purchases and gains made on the properties have been significantly increased.
No steps have been announced to reduce the current account deficit or imports, given the current account deficit objective established by the finance minister is just 2.2 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).