Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif addressed the nation after chairing a meeting of his economic team, in Islamabad, on June 24, 2022. In his address the prime minister addressed the “tough” economic decisions that the current government has to take as the economy was at the brink of bankruptcy. The premier announced that the government would be imposing a 10-percent super tax on large scale industries to control the “storm inflation”.
In his television address to the nation, the prime minister said that he wants to take the nation into confidence over the steps taken by government to stabilize the economy. The prime minister stated that the revenue collected from the super tax of large scale manufacturers would benefit in economic crisis for poverty eradication. The super tax will be applicable on the subjects like sugar, steel, cement, oil, gas, fertilizers, LNG terminals, banking, textile, automobile, cigarettes, chemical and beverages.
Prime minister further said that cross-subsidy would be utilized to fortify public services in education and the health sector and expounded that such approaches were important to lessen the country’s dependence on foreign loans. “That is what we call economic freedom; that is what we call coming out of the shackles of slavery of borrowing money,” he furthered. He vowed that the decision will save the country from bankruptcy.
Pm also announced the imposition of tax on those having annual earning of Rs150 million or more. Those earning Rs150 million will have their tax rate increased by 1%. Those earning Rs200 million will have tax rate increased by 2% and the ones earning more than Rs250 million will pay 3%increased tax and the individuals earning more than 300million will have an increased tax of 4%.While declaring the expanded tax rates, PM Shehbaz expressed that the “rich would need to do their part” to reduce the weight of storm inflation on the less fortunate fragments of society.
The PM claimed that the present budget is the first in history to have the aim of reducing burden on the poor. He pointed that it is the responsibility of everyone in state to ensure tax collection is thorough and the rich must not evade taxes. “Those who are blessed today must come forward and make Pakistan prosperous and progressive,” he added.
He explained that the revenue collection teams have been formed and modern technology and digital tools would be employed to support in revenue collection and assistance would be sought from all provincial and federal institutions. He put the blame of inflation and economic crisis on “corruption and incompetency” of the former ruling Pakitan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government which caused destruction of economy. He said that their coalition government chose to fight the rather difficult economy than to go for elections, which would have been an easier decision otherwise.
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PM Shehbaz pointed that other motives included sustainability of the economy and prosperity of the country. “These aren’t just words, this is the voice of my heart and InshaAllah we will be able to achieve all these targets,” he maintained.