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Tuesday October 26, 2021

Shaukat Tarin announces tax on mobile phone calls lasting more than 5 minutes

Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin winds up budget 2021-22 debate in National Assembly

By  APP & Web Desk
June 25, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin said Friday that the country was moving towards self-reliance and stability.

In a tweet, the federal minister said that he had summarised the long-term benefits of budget 2021-2022 at the National Assembly on Friday.

On Friday, the finance minister concluded the budget 2021-22 debate in the National Assembly and responded to the recommendations made by the senators and Opposition.

He highlighted some challenges faced by the government and the response of the incumbent government to tackle these challenges.

At the outset, the House offered fateha for the martyred soldiers of Frontier Corps in Sibi.

The finance minister said Prime Minister Imran Khan took bold and difficult decisions to steer the economy in the right direction. 

"Despite the COVID-19 challenge, we achieved a growth of 4% during the current fiscal year due to interventions made in different sectors, including industries, housing and construction and agriculture," Tarin said.

What are the final tax relief measures?

Tarin announced a series of relief measures for different sectors. 

He said the tax relief earlier given to the auto sector for vehicles up to 850cc is being extended to 1,000cc vehicles, while the tax imposed on medical bills, GP fund and airy products is being withdrawn. 

Tarin said there will be no tax on mobile internet and SMS, while 75 paisas will be charged from users on a call of more than five minutes.

The minister said there will be zero tax on registered IT platforms, while 2% tax will be charged from unregistered ones. 

There will be 17% tax on value added products of gold and tax on poultry is being reduced from 15% to 10%. 

 On textile products, the tax has been reduced from 12 to 10 percent.

Similarly, the tax rate on real estate has been reduced. Under the construction package, the ratio of income tax has been reduced from 35 percent to 20 percent. He said tax relief has also been given to oil refineries so that they could turn to Euro-5 fuel.

The finance minister categorically stated that no tax has been imposed on flour and its products.

He claimed the budget has given hope to all tiers of society and said it envisages a comprehensive plan for the uplift of four to six million poor households. 

What are the government's spending plans?

Under this  uplift plan, rural households will be given interest free loans of up to Rs300,000 for agriculture productivity, besides Rs200,000 for the purchase of equipment. 

 He said Rs500,000 of interest free loans will be provided to each deserving household in the urban areas to start their businesses. He said these poor households will also be provided with health cards.

The minister said that the allocation for the Ehsaas programme has been enhanced to 260 billion rupees to provide assistance to under privileged segments of societies. He said the government will provide targeted subsidies to the low-income groups on power tariff, flour, ghee and sugar.

Tax collection for the next fiscal year has been fixed at 5800 billion rupees. 

He said 1.1 billion dollars has been earmarked for the purchase of COVID-19 vaccines, while five billion rupees have been set aside for the development of the e-voting system.

The minister pointed out that Pakistan has become a net food importer and the present government will now spend on the agriculture sector to achieve self-reliance. He said that a plan has been formulated in cooperation with the provinces to uplift this sector. He said that cold storages and warehouses will established and a network of agri-malls will be spread across the country to eliminate the role of the middle man.

Incentives of forty billion rupees will be given to the industrial sector with an aim to increase competitiveness, Tarin said, adding that tax relief has been given to the SMEs sector and loans of one hundred billion rupees will be given to them on a markup of 9 percent.