Finance Minister Asad Umar has tabled amendments to the Finance Bill 2018-19 what is being dubbed as the mini-budget in National Assembly. Prime Minister Imran Khan, ministers and lawmakers from various political parties were in attendance.
Warning that the country’s foreign exchange reserves had depleted to only two months of import cover, and drawing attention to the fall in the rupee’s value against the dollar, the finance minister said that difficult decisions had to be made or inflationary pressures would build up to the point that they would become painful for the average consumer.
“We need to decide — not the government alone, but the parliament together — if we want to continue like this.”
Key decisions made include:
- Non-filers will be able to buy property and cars again.
- A 20% duty will be placed on cars above 1800cc.
- The income tax exemption slab has been reduced from Rs 1.2 million per year to Rs 0.4 million per year.
- The increase in the levy on petroleum and development will be retracted.
- Minimum pension would now be Rs 10,000.
- Additional taxes will be placed on costly mobile phones and cigarettes.
- Rs 300 billion will be garnered via the petroleum levy.
- Rs 4 billion have been allocated for 8,276 housing units.
- Tax on bank transaction for non-filers increased to 0.6%.
- Rs 50 billion development package proposed for Karachi.
This is a developing story and will be progressively updated. Stay tuned..