Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif announced fixed taxes have been abolished for retailers and more than 1.7 million people will now be exempt from fuel charges adjustment on electricity bills.
Addressing the nation on Tuesday from Qatar where he arrived today on a two-day trip the premier said that fixed taxes were imposed on the people in the federal budget for the fiscal year 2022-23, announced on June 10, against the intention of the coalition government.
The move will translate into a tax gap of Rs42 billion, but PM Shehbaz said that the coalition government “cannot add further pressure on small traders”.
In a press conference last week, Minister for Finance Miftah Ismail said that the coalition government aimed to collect Rs42 billion through retail taxes, however, after the tax exemption, it would no longer be able to meet the target.
Ismail revealed that the revised target is now Rs27 billion. “To meet the gap, which will be created by the exemption of fixed taxes on small traders, the government is imposing a further tax of Rs36 billion on the tobacco industry,” he said.
Addressing the backlash received in the last two days regarding inflated electricity bills, the prime minister announced that the coalition government, after intense discussions with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), has decided to exempt 17.1 million people from paying excessive amounts charged under fuel charges adjustment for the month of July and August.
“We have been working on the fuel charges adjustment case for last five days and we have decided to exempt a major chunk of the population from these charges; however, we are yet to take a decision regarding the 13 million people falling under the category of people who consume more electricity,” he said.