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ISLAMABAD: Federal Finance Minister Miftah Ismail has termed the next fiscal year budget as progressive and maintained that the government has not imposed any indirect or consumption tax and measures have been taken to impose an additional tax on the wealthy.

Addressing a press conference here on Thursday along with the Minister for Information Marriyum Aurangzeb, Ismail said that petroleum prices were increased to avert the country from default and the government is cognizant of inflation in the country. He said that the safe deposits of China, which are becoming due in June-July, have also been re-rolled by the Chinese.

The finance minister said that the government has decided to impose additional taxes in the budget on the rich. One percent additional tax is being imposed on those whose income is Rs15 Crore and two percent on those whose income is Rs20 Crores. He further stated that three percent additional tax is being imposed on those having Rs25 Crore and four percent more on those whose income is more than Rs30 Crores. He said that tax has been imposed on the sugar industry.

The finance minister said that the budget deficits were historic high during the last three years of the previous government besides the country’s total debt was increased to Rs45 trillion.

3rd time's a charm?: Govt hikes price of petrol by Rs24.03, diesel by Rs59.16

Ismail said that the previous government left the country with Rs120billion deficit after reducing petrol and diesel prices and took the country almost at the verge of bankruptcy. He said that the present government has saved the country from default.

The finance minister said that there were signs of improvement in the stock market and the value of the rupee against the US dollar has also gained strength from the last day. He accused former Prime Minister Imran Khan of breaking an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and unilaterally reducing the price of petrol and electricity.

He asked that the price of sugar decreased in the time of Shehbaz Sharif, why the price of sugar did not decrease in the time of Imran Khan; Imran should explain why the price of sugar increased during the tenure of his government.

Miftah says IMF lending critical to averting default

He said that even today we are selling sugar all over Pakistan at Rs70 per kg. In the time of Imran Khan, the price of sugar went up to Rs150. When there was a shortage, Shehbaz himself called the President of Indonesia.

A minister went to Indonesia at his own expense. From there he got shipped oil. Even today, he added that ghee is being sold at Rs300 per kg at Utility Stores in the country and more USC outlets would be opened. Sugar is being sold at Rs70 and flour at Rs40 at Utility Stores Corporation, asking why it was not being sold at this price by the previous government.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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