Blood from a stone

By News Desk
June 21, 2024

Pakistan’s current finance minister delivered a speech on the nation’s budget last week and nobody, probably not even the finance minister himself, seemed to be assured of anything when all was said and done. He spoke optimistically about his plans to decrease poverty and increase economic growth in the country by imposing new taxes. Realistically speaking, these additions are only going to further burden current taxpayers. Efforts to increase the number of tax filers and enforce compliance through varying rates and penalties is not the correct decision in my opinion. There is also the extra imposition of Federal Excise Duty (FED) on certain products.

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The overall cost of living of the average citizen is only going to increase, especially since FED rates on necessary commodities like cement and sugar are highly likely to negatively affect households and businesses. Overall, while it makes sense for a nation’s fiscal policy to revolve heavily around revenue enhancement, there is a tricky but extremely important balance between taxation and consumer welfare that must be struck. The government must avoid administrative lapses when making long-term decisions for the nation.

Urooj Nawaz Khan

Islamabad

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