Next budget revolves around five key principles: Aurangzeb

Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb says the budget for the next fiscal year revolves around five principles, including widening tax base and digitizing economy.

Addressing the post budget news conference in Islamabad today, he said implementing a progressive income tax regime, eliminating non-filers, and protecting low-income groups are other points emphasized in the budget.

The Finance Minister said below ten percent tax to GDP ratio is not sustainable. He emphasized enhancing it to thirteen percent in the next three years.

Muhammad Aurangzeb announced that tax on retailers and wholesalers will be applicable from the 1st of July. He said the Federal Board of Revenue has so far registered thirty one thousand retailers and the process of registration will continue.

Muhammad Aurangzeb said end to end digitization in FBR is aimed at minimizing human intervention and improving transparency and client service.

He said nobody should have any objection on progressive income tax as the affluent class needs to p
ay more taxes.

The Finance Minister said that tax has been enhanced on business transactions of the non-filers. He said this is the first step towards doing away with non-filers in the country.

Replying to a question, the Finance Minister said record allocations have been made for the IT sector to facilitate IT exports and youth in their startups.

Regarding the Small and Medium Enterprises, he said banks are back to finance SME’s, IT and agriculture sectors.

Answering another question, Muhammad Aurangzeb said 81 percent of Public Sector Development Programme spending has been reserved for ongoing projects, while rest of the amount will go for new projects.

The Finance Minister said all the stakeholders including the allied parties are being taken on board on the privatization process. He said transactions regarding the privatization of PIA and outsourcing of Islamabad Airport will be completed by August. He said this will follow the outsourcing of Lahore and Karachi airports.

Regarding relief measures,
Minister of State for Finance Ali Pervaiz Malik said significant allocations have been made in this respect under the Benazir Income Support Programme. Similarly, the largest chunk of subsidies will go for power sector to facilitate electricity consumers, including the protected customers using up to 200 units.

The Minister of State further said additional amount has been reserved for the Utility Stores Corporation to provide essential kitchen items to the deserving people at subsidized rates.

The Minister of State said there is no tax on the employees earning up to fifty thousand rupees.

Source: Radio Pakistan