Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has proposed abolishing 2% final tax on the purchase of immovable property for overseas Pakistanis in the federal budget for the fiscal year 2023-24 to boost the remittances through formal channels amid dwindling foreign exchange reserves.
Presenting the budget in the National Assembly on Friday, the finance minister termed the remittances a major source of foreign reserves saying they constituted the major part of the country's total inflows.
Apart from abolishing the final tax on immovable property to promote remittances through formal channels, the government has also proposed the introduction of a "diamond card" for people sending over $50,000.
Those who will avail the "diamond card" can get one non-prohibited bore licence, a gratis passport, preferential access to Pakistani embassies and consulates, fast-track immigration at Pakistani airports, and special prizes through draws.
The proposal was announced by Dar as he unboxed a Rs14.46 trillion budget for the fiscal year 2023-24, introducing "no new taxes" and envisaging an economic growth of 3.5% as the crisis-riven country looks to persuade the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to release more bailout money.
Pakistan has shared the budget numbers with the IMF, and the finance minister believes there's no further objection the lender could raise — as they are in line with the programme requirements.
Dar — who presented the second budget of the Pakistan Democratic Movement-led government, which came into power in April last year, in the National Assembly and Senate — returned to the podium to announce the federal budget after a hiatus of five years.
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