Pakistanis should brace themselves for harder times ahead. The PTI government will present its second mini-budget today (Wednesday).
The National Assembly will come into session at 4:30pm.
Mobile phones, electronics and hundreds of luxury items are likely to get more expensive. The price of nearly 100 imported products is expected to rise too.
It is expected that tax will be charged on Rs500 mobile balance. The government has been advised to decrease the tax on salaried class. It is expected that non-filers will be able to buy small cars. The withholding tax on banking transactions is expected to be decreased.
PTI has announced that it will provide some relief to the people in the mini-budget.
We may see an increase in the tax or tariff rate of certain imported products and a decrease in the tax rate of imported raw material, said Finance Minister Asad Umar in December.
During his visit on Karachi, Asad Umar emphasised that the government wants to improve the ease of doing business in the country. The private sector runs the economy but it needs to see improvement to increase its investment, he said. No matter how patriotic a person is, he will only invest to a certain extent if the terms aren’t right.
Speaking about the situation before his government came into power, he said it was difficult to invest in Pakistan. Taxes and electricity prices were barriers to investment, he said, adding that the way tax was being charged was creating problems for investors. We will try to make it easier to invest in Pakistan, he promised.
On September 18, the PTI government had presented its first mini-budget. The two points of the budget stood out. The government wants to protect low-income and poor people and has tried to pass on new taxes to those who earn more. Secondly, it wants to support agriculture and industry and make them competitive in exports so they create jobs and earn foreign exchange.