Govt plans to extend targeted subsidies on essential commodities
Inflation will start falling from March next year, said Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar while addressing a press conference in Islamabad on Monday.
Asad Umar said commodity prices may not decline in the next two months, but they would start falling between March and June next year. PM Imran Khan has given maximum possible relief to the people.
The minister said that a program had been prepared to provide targeted subsidies on essential commodities to the marginalized segments of society.
He said that Prime Minister Imran Khan would share details of this program in the next few days while the benefits of this program would start reaching the people by the end of the next month, he said.
This, he said, would be achieved by reducing taxes on edible oil. Sales tax on edible oil will be cut from 17% to 8.5%. The government has decided in principle to reduce the edible oil price by Rs45-Rs50 per kilogram.
The minister for planning said that the government had also substantially reduced taxes on petroleum products to minimize the impact of the price hike in the world market.
He pointed out that crude oil prices had increased by as much as 81.55% over the past 12 months in the global market while in Pakistan, the prices had only been increased by 17.55%.
On petrol, he said, the government had reduced GST from 17% to 6.8% and the Petroleum Development Levy from Rs30 to Rs5.62 per liter. “Petrol is more expensive in India than Pakistan,” he said.
Asad Umar said the sales tax on diesel had also been reduced from 17% to 10.03% and the petroleum development levy from Rs30 to Rs5.14 per liter.
Referring to talks with the IMF, he said he was not part of the current talks between the IMF and Pakistan. In 2019, the IMF’s demands had been met within the exchange rate, tax, electricity and gas rates after that the conditions were relaxed.
He criticised the PML-N and said that Pakistan had been included in FATF gray list during the previous PML-N tenure. The IMF program was tough for PTI than the PML-N and it was not because of the country’s foreign policy. The reason was the misdeeds committed by the previous government during its five years in power.