Post Budget Conference: Dar warns profiteers against increasing prices making budget as excuse

ISLAMABAD: Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Wednesday warned of taking stern action against those who increase prices linking to the budget and the finance bill.
Addressing the post budget conference, he said: “taxation measure will not affect the common man.”
He said that about Rs231 billion additional taxes would be collected in the next fiscal year. The finance minister said that out of total additional revenue Rs103 billion would be through elimination of exemption and remaining Rs128 billion would be collected through revenue measures.
Most of the new measures are taken in withholding tax regime that are adjustable against the payable liabilities, he said.
The Finance Minister said there are 2.5 million retailers in the country but just a few thousands are registered. In the sales tax system He said chain stores and shopping centers would be bring in the sales tax system compulsorily.
According to finance Minister, retailers who were consuming electricity worth Rs. 50,000 or above will have to pay extra 7.5 per cent tax.
He assured that no hike will be made in the price cement and urea adding that hoarding and profit-taking will not be allowed.
The finance minister said that the decisions in this regards had been made in consultation with all the leading trade bodies.
The minister said an EXIM bank on the pattern of China and the United States would be established adding that its paid up capital would be Rs10 billion.
Speaking about the relief measures, finance minister said the government would spend additional Rs42 billion due to increase in salaries and pension adding further he said government has increased allocations for Benazir Income Support Programme for the welfare of common man.
He said federal excise duty would be exempted for those having GST implemented.
Ishaq Dar said that maximum custom duty had been reduced to 25 per cent from 30 per cent however additional regulatory duty has been imposed on the import of luxurious items including Chocolates, Mineral Water, Cheese, Butter, which are in use of rich people.
He said that new federal budget is aimed at ensuring good governance, eliminating corruption, plugging leakages in taxes and expanding the tax net.
Ishaq Dar said the new budget contains measures to alleviate sufferings of about 90 million people living below poverty line. He said Qarza-e-Hasna scheme and prime minister’s youth schemes were aimed at bringing such segment of the society out of the trap of poverty.
He said the budget also envisages packages for agriculture, industrial and textile sectors to help realize their true potential.
The Finance Minister categorically stated that the budgetary proposals contain no measure that could lead to increase in prices of cement. He warned that the government would not allow cement manufacturers to create artificial price-hike and stern action would be taken against profiteers.
Ishaq Dar said the culture of non-filing of tax returns will have to be eliminated for the sake of national economy and progress.
He said the previous government could increase tax collection by just three percent, while the present government increased it by 16.4 percent in eleven months of the current financial year.
He urged consumers to get receipts while making any purchases to help document the economy and discourage leakages of taxes.
He pointed out that minimum pension has been increased by hundred percent and there is twenty percent increase in minimum wages.
He said the government would spend additional 42 billion rupees due to increase in salaries and pension.
He said Employees Oldage Benefits Institution (EOBI) would be directed to increase pension of its pensioners.
The finance minister said the budget contains a number of measures to promote exports as prosperity cannot be come sans increase in exports.
The minister said the government was working on health insurance scheme for the benefit of the poor. Dar said the budget contains special incentives for less developed regions of FATA, Gilgit-Baltistan, Balochistan and Swat.

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