Thursday Jun 23, 2022
ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Miftah Ismail on Thursday declared that Pakistan has been "saved from bankruptcy" as he announced a raft of new measures which will be included in the budget for fiscal year 2022-23.
“We have saved the country from bankruptcy by increasing the prices of petroleum products and by holding late-night dialogue with the Fund mission,” he said, addressing a press conference flanked by Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb.
The finance minister said that the PTI-led government left the economy on the brink of a default and that too "only to remain in power", saying that he has never seen such a “touch-and-go” situation ever in his decades-long career.
Ismail said that the deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) over budgetary measures for the next fiscal year 2022-23 has been closed.
He revealed that he would close the federal budget for the next fiscal year 2022-23 tomorrow with his closing speech in the National Assembly.
Terming the budget proposals “historic”, Miftah said that indirect taxes haven’t been imposed on the consumption of goods on which countries earn more tax. He blamed the previous Imran Khan-led government for burdening the masses by imposing several taxes on consumption.
“Imran Khan and co. led Pakistan towards the four biggest historic budget deficits,” he said, adding that the difference between the expenditures and taxes was the highest in the history of the country during the PTI tenure.
The finance minister said that the coalition government this time has imposed taxes on the rich, adding that another 1% supertax would be imposed on people earning more than Rs150 million, 2% on income of more than Rs200 million, 3% on people earning more than Rs250 million and 4% on income of more than Rs300 million for a year.
The finance minister further said that in this budget the government is focusing on shared sacrifice which will help Pakistan improve its financial situation.
Regarding the $2.3 billion which are to be received from Chinese commercial banks, he said that the inflows are expected either tomorrow or maximum by Monday.
Moreover, he added that China has also decided to rollover its safe deposits — which were due in June-July. “I would like to thank China for this initiative even when Pakistan did not request them to do so,” he said.
Miftah questioned why Imran Khan if he felt for the poor, did not provide cheap flour and sugar to them. “Why did Imran Khan not take concrete measures when he felt for the poor people?” he questioned.
“We are bringing economic stability, which they abolished when they were in power,” he said, adding that it was difficult for PM Shehbaz Sharif to take these tough measures.
Regarding taxes on the rich, the finance minister said that Pakistan cannot become “self-sufficient” with false speeches.
“Self-sufficiency comes when taxes are collected from the rich,” he said.