Miftah Ismail today while giving his closing remarks to the assembly notified of numerous measures currently being taken by the Government to facilitate the agricultural, real-estate, business and other sectors.
Miftah Ismail while addressing the assembly today informed lawmakers that, “Government is preparing a new export package and is currently mulling the plans to announce the said package soon.”
Finance Minister said that over the course of last two months, exports have risen sharply and economic growth has also picked momentum. He said that, “Agriculture sector recorded a growth of 3.8 percent,” mentioning “new fiscal measures currently in the works to be announced soon for the agricultural sector.”
Citing the measures already in place for agricultural sector, he highlighted the reduction of Sales Tax on Urea by 2 percent, and promotion of Gypsum for agricultural lands. Mentioning the specifics of the incumbent projects, he said that farmers holding 12.5 acres would be eligible to get a subsidy of Rs. 2,000 per acre using gypsum. Furthermore, to increase the availability of Gypsum in the country export, duty of 20 percent would also be imposed on the export of Gypsum.
He estimated that with the launch of new initiatives, small farmers would be able to increase yields on their farmlands.
He also informed the members that “farmers are to get one year or more time if they fail to make overdue electricity payment.”
Regarding the corporate tax currently applicable on businesses, he said that “tax rate on small companies will be reduced to 20 percent from 25 percent”, also ensuring that “each year tax rate will be reduced by one percent”.
Miftah Ismail while mentioning the budget measures announced last month, said that Government is proposing minimum tax for importers. With these new taxes, commercial importers would benefit the most from these measures. He also said, “The tax rate will be six percent but minimum tax rate will be five percent”, also highlighting that “those importers earning less profit will pay less tax”.
He said that current LNG import tax rate is at six percent, whereas, Government is proposing a tax rate of one percent to all LNG importers. But he said that other than PSO and Pakistan LNG two companies provided with sales tax facility – any company importing LNG will have to pay sales tax at the rate of 12 percent.
The issues of real-estate sector, who had presented their budgetary proposals before the budget, were also addressed by Finance Minister today. He said that under the new scheme of laws, builders would enjoy tax benefits.
He said that, “Builders to construct small homes having price tag of Rs. 25 lakh would be eligible for tax rebates; tax rebates of 50 percent has been proposed for the builders of small homes.”
He also mentioned that, non-filers would now be able to purchase property up worth Rs. 50 lakh. Contrary to the announcement in budget, in which, non-filers were prohibited to buy property exceeding worth Rs. 40 lakh.
He said that steps for ease of tax registration had also been put in place. He said that for overseas Pakistanis, a new simple form will be introduced to become filer. These overseas Pakistanis would be file e-file in lesser time.
Amongst other measures, he said that in order to promote the local industry of fish fillet, customs duty has been raised. Customs Duty on fish fillet imports have been increased to 20 percent from 11 percent
The government has also revised the tenure of refund of customs duty. From now on, customs duty will be paid within 120 days.
Regarding the official payments for conveyance, he said that, “officials working in grade 1-16 would get a raise of 50 percent in conveyance allowances.”