ISLAMABAD: PM Shehbaz Sharif, while labelling the finance bill a “herculean task”, congratulated Finance Minister Miftah Ismail for presenting a “balanced, progressive and pro-people budget” .
Defending the budget presented by his government Friday, PM Shehbaz Sharif told the nation that the finance bill will steer the country out of the “difficult” time it is going through.
“These are difficult times brought upon us by recent years of economic mismanagement. Through this budget, my government will steer our way out of these challenges by taking tough decisions while minimising the impact on vulnerable segments of the population,” said the premier.
In a Twitter thread, PM Shehbaz elaborated on how the government was hoping to “shield financially weaker citizens from economic hardships” by taxing the “financially stronger people”.
“We have allocated billions of rupees for targeted subsidies. This amount is in addition to Rs344 billion allocated for Benazir Income Support Programme. Only deserving people to get the subsidy,” said PM Shehbaz. He added that the government has increased the salaries of its employees by providing a raise of 15% and merging the “ad hoc allowance in their basic pay”.
“The tax slabs have been revised. Those earning up to Rs1.2 million annually have been exempted from taxes. Government has decided to tax non-productive assets of the rich including 5% tax on the purchase of second property and increase in tax on luxury cars,” said the PM.
The premier also highlighted that his government has reduced the tax on the import and distribution of solar panels to zero, adding that a “zero tax has been announced for import of agricultural machinery and implants”.
PM Shehbaz believes the zero tax policy for the agricultural sector in some areas would be a “major step” to enable farmers and the sector to progress.
“Government has increased funding for Benazir Income Support Programme. Benazir scholarship programme has been extended to 10 million students,” said the PM.
PM Shehbaz concluded his thread by saying that making the budget in “financially challenging times with so many constraints was no less than a herculean task”.