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PM Shehbaz announces 10% super tax on large-scale industries

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  • PM Shehbaz takes people into confidence over “tough decisions” taken by coalition govt.
  • “Our motive is to provide relief to the masses and to reduce burden of inflation,” he says.
  • PTI leader criticise govt for imposing 10% super on 13 sectors.

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif announced Friday that the coalition government plans to impose a 10% super tax on large-scale industries, and that “tough decisions” have been taken to protect the economy on budget 2022-23.

Addressing the nation, after a meeting with his economic team, the premier said that the coalition government has taken some “tough decisions” regarding the federal budget for the next fiscal year 2022-23. “I want to brief the people about those decisions and the actual [economic] situation of the country,” he said, highlighting the two major reasons behind these decisions.

“Our first motive is to provide relief to the masses and to reduce the burden of inflation on the people and facilitate them,” he elaborated.

“Our second motive is to protect the country from going bankrupt,” he said, adding that it has been devastated due to the “incompetency and corruption” of the previous Imran Khan-led government.

The decisions taken now will save the country from bankruptcy, he vowed.

Meanwhile, PM Shehbaz further added that other motives included stabilisation of the economy and prosperity of the county. “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.

IMF programme to fianlise soon

Regarding the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme, he said: “If the IMF doesn’t put forward any other conditions, I am hopeful that we will be able to reach a staff-level agreement with them soon.”

He further added that the coalition government has taken some “daring” decisions after mutual consultations to provide relief to the people; however, the premier admitted the nation will witness difficulties in the short-run.

“We will steer out of the economic crisis because of these decisions and step onto the path envisioned by Quaid-e-Azam,” he said, adding that after coming into power, the coalition government had two options; to call elections afresh or to protect the “devastating economy” of the country by taking some tough decisions.

“The first way out was easy; however, our [coalition government] conscience did not allow us to do something which would impact the country as the time was to protect the state and not politics,” he stated.

The prime minister urged the affluent sections of society to come forward and share the burden.

He said that this is the first budget in the history of Pakistan in which the government has provided an “economic vision”.

Details of ‘tough decisions’

Announcing the imposition of a 10% super tax on cement, steel, sugar, oil and gas, fertiliser, banking, textile, chemical, beverage, and automobile industries, he said it has been done to save the common man from taxes.

“A 1% tax has been imposed on people earning over Rs150 million, 2% on those earning over Rs200 million, 3% on those earning over Rs250 million and 4% on those earning over Rs300 million,” he announced.


Here’s a list of 13 sectors on which 10% super tax will be imposed: 

  • Cement
  • Steel
  • Banking
  • Airlines
  • Textile
  • Automobile assembling
  • Sugar mills
  • Beverages
  • Oil and gas
  • Fertiliser
  • Cigarettes
  • Chemicals
  • LNG terminals

Industry facing crippling costs: Hammad Azhar

Reacting to the PM Shehbaz’s address, former energy minister Hammad Azhar said that the “super tax will be priced in their balance sheets and passed on to consumers” in many ways.

He said that while the country’s industry is already hit by price hikes, the public will now be more affected faction.

“Industry is already facing crippling costs due to rising prices of commodities and energy. This super tax will be priced in their balance sheets and passed on to the customers in many cases. Means even higher prices for the public,” Azhar wrote.

“Super tax will end up further squeezing the formal sector of the economy. This means taxing the already taxed even more. The economy is nosediving and such a measure at this time will reverse the industrialisation momentum that PTI generated,” he added.

Imran Khan increased tax collection: Shahbaz Gill

Meanwhile, PTI leader Shahbaz Gill criticised the incumbent coalition government for its decision to impose a 10% super tax on industries, listing down some of its consequences: rising unemployment, the decline in growth, 10% further increase in prices and an intensifying inflation storm.

He said that former prime minister Imran Khan increased the record of tax collection instead of taking such “cruel measures”.

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Petrol, diesel prices likely to go down from April 1

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  • Petrol rate likely to reduce by Rs4-5 per litre.
  • Rs15-20 per litre reduction expected in diesel price.
  • Sources hint at possibility of prices remaining unchanged.

Following a reduction in international crude oil prices, the rates of petroleum products in Pakistan are expected to decline from April 1, Geo News reported Wednesday.

According to estimates of oil marketing companies (OMCs), the price of diesel is likely to decline by Rs15-20 per litre while the price of petrol is expected to go down by Rs4-5 per litre.

However, well-placed sources in the industry said that there is a possibility that the Finance Division keeps the price unchanged.

In its last fortnight bulletin, the federal government raised the price of petrol to Rs272 per litre.

The Finance Division attributed the price hike to the depreciation of the Pakistani rupee against the US dollar and an increase in the prices registered by Platts Singapore.

The price of MS (petrol) was increased by Rs5 per litre and the price of hi-speed diesel was increased by Rs13 per litre.

The increase in the price of kerosene oil was kept at Rs2.56 by reducing the government’s dues on it. Similarly, the price of light diesel oil was kept constant by adjusting the government dues as well.

The new prices came into effect on March 16 and will remain in place till March 31.

The Finance Division will announce the news rates on March 31 which will remain in place for the next 15 days. 

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Banks to observe extended working hours

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At the request of the Federal Board of Revenue, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Wednesday directed all branches of banks to observe extended banking hours in order to facilitate the taxpayers in payment of government duties/taxes.

The central bank, in a statement issued in this regard, said that the direction is for all branches of banks including the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) and field offices of SBP Banking Services Corporation (SBP-BSC).

“[…] all branches of banks including National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) and field offices of SBP Banking Services Corporation (SBP-BSC) shall observe extended banking hours until 04:00 P.M. and 06:00 P.M. on 30th and 31st March 2023 respectively for collection of government taxes through ADC’s Over-the-Counter (OTC) facility,” the statement read.

It mentioned that National Institutional Facilitation Technologies (NIFT) shall arrange a special clearing at 6pm on March 31 (Friday) for the same-day clearing of payment instruments deposited at NBP’s authorised branches for customs collections.

“For this purpose, all banks shall arrange to keep their clearing-related branches open till such time that is necessary to facilitate the special clearing by NIFT on March 31, 2023 (Friday),” it read.

It should be noted that during Ramadan, banks observe reduced hours. Currently, the timings are:

Public dealing timings:

  • Monday to Thursday — 9am to 2pm (without break)
  • Friday — 8:30am to 1pm (without break)

Office timings:

  • Monday to Thursday — 9am to 3:30pm (with prayer break from 2pm to 2:30pm)
  • Friday — 8:30am to 1pm (without break)

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PM Shehbaz takes notice of gas loadshedding during sehr, iftar

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  • PM Shehbaz says he has already taken notice of the matter.
  • Premier summons a meeting to discuss issue of gas loadshedding.
  • “We will leave no stone unturned to address this issue,” PM says.

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday assured the members of the National Assembly that his government would address the issue of gas loadshedding during sehr and iftar as inflation-weary people have been registering complaints.

The prime minister, responding to a point of order raised by MNA Syed Agha Rafiullah, told the house that he had already taken notice of the matter.

PM Shehbaz shared that he had already summoned a meeting to be held later in the day, to discuss the issue of gas loadshedding.

“We will leave no stone unturned to address this issue,” the prime minister assured the house.

Earlier, a parliamentarian from Karachi’s Malir area drew the house’s attention to the problem of gas loadshedding being faced by the people, particularly those of Karachi, during sehr and iftar.

He said though the prime minister had already taken notice of the situation, the Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) needed to be directed to resolve the issue and provide uninterrupted supply during sehr and iftar.

Last week, the SSGC said gas would be supplied to domestic consumers during the holy month of Ramadan, but for limited hours — a move that irked consumers who complained of not getting enough of this essential fuel during mealtimes.

The utility had said that the gas pressure would be low from 8am to 2:30pm as it was facing a shortfall of 250 million mmbtu.

According to the SSGC helpline, for iftar, gas will be supplied to consumers in Karachi from 2:30pm to 7pm, while for sehr it will be available from 2:30am to 5am.

The gas utility added that consumers would face complete suspension or low pressure during the rest of the hours. 

However, the people have been complaining that gas remained suspended during sehr and iftar which forced them to purchase meals from hotels and restaurants which burdened their pockets.

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