Government to focus on growth strategy for new jobs: Shaukat Tarin
Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin said the government will focus on a growth strategy to create new employment opportunities and improve the income levels of the people.
Closing discussion on the next year’s budget in the National Assembly on Friday, he said we are moving towards inclusive and sustainable growth.
The finance minister said Prime Minister Imran Khan had taken bold and difficult decisions to steer the economy in the right direction. Despite the COVID-19 challenge, we have achieved four percent growth in the current fiscal year thanks to interventions in different sectors including industries, housing and construction and agriculture.
Shaukat Tarin also announced a series of relief measures for different sectors. He said the tax break previously granted to the automotive sector for vehicles up to 850cc is extended to 1000cc vehicles. He said the tax on medical bills and the GP fund was withdrawn. The tax on milk has also been abolished. He said there would be no internet and texting tax when only 75 paisas would be charged to users for a call longer than five minutes.
The minister said there would be no tax on registered computing platforms, while only 2% for unregistered platforms. He said there will be a 17% tax on value-added gold products. He said the poultry tax is reduced from 15 to 10 percent. On textile products, the tax was reduced from 12 to 10 percent. Likewise, the tax rate on real estate has been reduced. As part of the construction package, the income tax ratio has been reduced from 35% to 20%. He said tax breaks have also been given to oil refineries so that they can switch to Euro-5 fuel.
The minister categorically stated that no tax has been imposed on flour and its products.
Shaukat Tarin said the budget gave hope to all levels of society. He said the budget envisions a comprehensive plan for the recovery of four to six million poor households. Under this plan, these households will benefit from affordable housing. Rural households will benefit from interest-free loans of up to three hundred thousand rupees for agricultural productivity in addition to two hundred thousand rupees for the purchase of equipment. He said five hundred thousand rupees of interest free loans will be provided to every deserving household in urban areas to start their business. He said these poor households will also receive health cards.
The minister said the allocation for the Ehsaas program has been increased to 260 billion rupees to provide assistance to disadvantaged segments of societies. He said the government will provide targeted subsidies to low-income groups on tariffs for electricity, flour, ghee and sugar.
The minister said tax collection for the next fiscal year has been set at Rs 5,800 billion. We are making changes to the tax system and introducing automation. He said twelve withholding taxes were removed because they are regressive in nature.
The finance minister said the government had increased the annual PSDP by 40 percent from 630 billion rupees to 900 billion rupees. He said transport and energy projects as well as the development of backward areas, including Balochistan, tribal areas and Gilgit-Baltistan, have been prioritized in the development plan to bring prosperity and reduce poverty. poverty.
He said $ 1.1 billion had been set aside for the purchase of anti-Covid vaccines. Five billion rupees has been set aside for the development of the electronic voting system.
The minister stressed that Pakistan has become a net importer of food products and that the current government will now spend in the agricultural sector to achieve self-sufficiency. He said that a plan has been formulated in cooperation with the provinces to elevate this sector. He said cold stores and warehouses will be established and a network of agricultural shopping centers will be spread across the country to eliminate the role of middlemen.
Regarding the industrial sector, he indicated that incentives of forty billion rupees will be granted in order to increase the competitiveness of this important sector of the economy. He said that tax relief has been given to the SME sector and that loans of one hundred billion rupees will be given to them with a 9% mark-up. He said that we are also bringing a new automobile policy and that the “Meri Gari Scheme” will be introduced.
He said the incentives given to export-oriented industries will be maintained in the next fiscal year. He said that our aim is to improve our export base by encouraging exports in different sectors.
Shaukat Tareen expressed satisfaction with the growth of the IT industry, saying our goal is to increase their exports to $ 6 billion to $ 8 billion over the next two to three years. He said that we are also creating special economic zones under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Project. He said that we are engaged with China for the relocation of their industries to these areas. He said investments from other countries will also be made in these SEZs.
Regarding the electricity sector, the finance minister said there would be no tariff increase and this was also passed on to the IMF. He was confident that the flow of circular debt will begin to decline from the next fiscal year. He said sufficient funds have been earmarked for the construction of dams in the country.
The National Assembly today adopted 68 grant applications relating to different ministries, divisions and departments for the next fiscal year.
No motion to cut has been proposed by the opposition against these requests for subsidies.
Initially, the House offered fate to the martyred soldiers of the Frontier Corps in Sibi.
The House is currently reviewing the recommendations made by the Senate for incorporation into the 2021-22 finance bill.
The House will now meet tomorrow at 11 a.m.