- Former premier says newly imposed super tax on large-scale industries will increase unemployment in the country
Former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Saturday announced holding anti-government rallies in all major cities across the country on July 2 with him addressing an event at Islamabad's Parade Ground.
In a presser at his Bani Gala residence, the former premier issued directives to all party workers in major cities to hold the gatherings the same day.
Talking about the newly-imposed super tax on large-scale industries, he said that the move will only increase unemployment in the country. He said that due to the newly imposed tariff, corporate tax will go up to 39%.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Friday announced a 10% poverty alleviation tax or super tax on large industries in a "bid to relieve the general public of tax pressures".
“The collection from this tax will be used to alleviate poverty in Pakistan and will be funded by the high-income earners,” he said after a meeting with the government’s economic team.
The tax will be applicable to cement, steel, sugar, oil and gas, fertiliser, LNG, textile, banks, automobile, beverages, chemicals, and tobacco sectors. Later, finance minister Miftah Ismail also mentioned airlines as among those included in the list, taking the total of 13 sectors.
Meanwhile, criticising the government's move, Khan said that the revised budget and the newly imposed tariffs will have a devastating impact on Pakistan's economy and destroy the salaried class.
Khan warned that the petrol and diesel prices will not stop here, adding that the government plans to impose a petroleum levy of Rs 50.
Khan went on to say that in the budget, the government has "killed the common man economically."
The former premier reiterated that the government has no plan to fix the country's economy, warning that the newly announced measures to "raise taxes will force people to evade taxes."
Khan said that in the name of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) amendments, the country has been "pushed to the brink of disaster."
"Pakistan does not need an enemy, what they are going under the guise of NAB amendments, will destroy Pakistan," he warned.
Earlier on Saturday, Imran Khan challenged amendments to the National Accountability (NAB) Ordinance in the Supreme Court (SC).
As per the petition filed under article 184 (3) of the constitution, the recent amendments are in violation of the constitution.
The petition has requested the top court to adjudicate upon a question of "great public importance with reference to the enforcement of fundamental rights of citizens under articles 9 (security of a person), 14 (inviolability of dignity of a man, etc), 19A (right to information), 24 (protection of property rights) and 25 (equality of citizens).
In May, the National Assembly had passed bills to abolish the PTI government’s election reforms giving overseas Pakistanis the right to vote through i-Voting and electronic voting machines (EVMs), as well as the NAB laws.
As per the NAB (Second Amendment) Bill 2021, the bureau's deputy chairman, to be appointed by the federal government, would become the acting chairman of NAB following the completion of the tenure of the chairman.
The bill has also reduced the four-year term of the NAB chairman and the bureau's prosecutor general to three years.
The bill also states that regulatory bodies functioning in the country have also been placed out of NAB's domain.