Thursday Jun 20, 2019
ISLAMABAD: Former finance minister Asad Umar on Thursday criticised measures taken by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) government in the federal budget, asking it to reconsider taxes imposed on essential food items.
Speaking on the floor of the National Assembly, Umar expressed reservations on the first federal budget presented by his own party's government.
"Tax on sugar has been raised. Prices of sugar have already risen at an alarming rate, and I think this should also be investigated," said the former finance minister, adding that it was inapporiate to raise tax on sugar when price had already risen at an alarming rate.
"This tax is not appropriate; I think this should be withdrawn. And I believe it should also be investigated why sugar prices are rising at such a rate," he said.
The former finance minister further urged the PM's Adviser on Finace Dr Abdul Hafeexz Sheikh to take back taxes on edible oil and ghee.
Umar said there were several problems in the economy that have been there for a long time.
"The PML-N government left the economy in shambles. Due to the government's efforts, the current account deficit decreased by 70 per cent in just a few months. We need to stop relying on other countries for exports. Instead, we should give a tax exemption to those bringing new business into the country for the next five years.”
The PTI leader added that Gas Infrastructure Development Cess should to be abolished.
Umar further urged the government that an increase of 10 to 15 per cent in the pension should also be considered. "Labourers should be registered at the Employees Old-Age Benefits Institution (EOBI) along with domestic workers."