National Assembly passes finance bill with additional tax measures
The National Assembly on Wednesday passed the Finance Bill 2022 with a majority vote, giving its assent to the federal budget for the fiscal year 2022-23.
The finance bill also incorporated amendments introduced by the government on June 24, over a week after the bill was first tabled on June 10.
New measures introduced in the bill include a super tax on the rich and a fixed tax for big retailers.
Car dealers, jewelers, and other big retailers will pay Rs200,000 per month in fixed tax.
Under the original budget proposal, small retailers will pay tax according to their electricity bills at fixed rates ranging between Rs3,000 and Rs10,000.
The finance bill also increases the cap on the petroleum development levy from Rs30 to Rs50 per litre. Miftah Ismail told the House that the government had no intentions of imposing the levy at the rate of Rs50 per litre.
The government has also reversed tax relief measures announced for salaried individuals in the original budget proposal. It has increased tax rates for several slabs and people earning Rs50,000 or above will have to pay higher taxes.
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The 10% super tax will apply to banking firms and companies in 13 industrial sectors earning Rs300 million and above annually.
MQM stages walkout
The Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan (MQM-P), which is part of the coalition government, protested against the non-inclusion of some of the projects it had proposed in the budget.
MQM-P MNAs Sabir Qaimkhani and Salauddin staged a walkout from the National Assembly.
QaimKhani warned that if the government ministers did not change their attitude, the MQM-P will not take long to switch to opposition benches.
He said that the Pakistan Railways had been destroyed in the past three months, the PIA office was closed in Hyderabad and roads had fallen to disrepair, but there was no minister in the House to answer questions on these issues.
MQM-P’s Salahuddin supported Qaimkhani and said that their party had paid a heavy price to support the current government.
PML-N’s Ayaz Sadiq and Murtaza Javed Abbasi held talks with the disgruntled treasury members but failed to persuade them.