Tax On Phone Calls Lasting For More Than 5 Minutes, Announces Shaukat Tarin

Arhama AltafWeb Editor

25th Jun, 2021. 03:37 pm
Shaukat Tarin Budget speech

The federal government has slapped a tax on talking on a mobile phone for more than five minutes, announced Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin while winding up the budget discussion in the National Assembly today (Friday).

Shaukat Tarin said speaking over your cellphone for more than five minutes will be taxed at 75 paisas, but there will be no tax on an SMS.

He said the government will seek a third party’s help for action against the tax defaulters. “Arrest will be made after legal formalities.”

The government has decided to cut taxes up to 1000cc vehicles, while tax slapped on the milk and other items has also been fixed at 10 per cent against earlier proposed at 17pc.

Finance minister Shaukat Tarin made it clear that the federal government has not proposed any tax on flour or other items.

The Finance Minister said that Prime Minister Imran Khan took bold and difficult decisions to steer the economy in the right direction. Despite the COVID-19 challenge, we achieved a growth of 4% during the current fiscal year due to the interventions made 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 relief earlier given to the auto sector for vehicles up to 850 ccs is being extended to 1000 cc vehicles. He said tax imposed on medical bills and GP fund is being withdrawn. The tax imposed on the milk has also been waived off.  He said there will be no tax on the internet and SMS while only 75 paisas will be charged from the users on a call of more than five minutes.

The Minister said there will be zero tax on the registered IT platforms while only 2% for the unregistered ones. He said there will be a 17%  tax on the value-added products of gold. He said that the tax on poultry is being reduced from 15 to 10%.  On textile products, the tax has been reduced from 12 to 10 percent. Similarly, the tax rate on real estate has been reduced. Under the construction package, the ratio of income tax has been reduced from 35 percent to 20 percent. He said tax relief has also been given to oil refineries so that they could turn to Euro-5 fuel.

The Minister categorically stated that no tax has been imposed on flour and its products.

Shaukat Tarin said the budget has given hope to all tiers of society. He said the budget envisages a comprehensive plan for the uplift of four to six million poor households. Under this plan, these households will be provided with affordable houses. The rural households will be given interest-free loans of up to three hundred thousand rupees for agriculture productivity besides two hundred thousand rupees for the purchase of equipment.  He said five hundred thousand rupees of interest-free loans will be provided to each deserving household in the urban areas to start their businesses. He said these poor households will also be provided with health cards.

The Minister said that the allocation for Ehsaas Program has been enhanced to 260 billion rupees to provide assistance to underprivileged segments of the societies.  He said the government will provide targeted subsidies to the low-income groups on power tariff, flour, ghee and sugar.

The Minister said that the tax collection for the next fiscal year has been fixed at 5800 billion rupees. We are bringing changes in the tax system and introducing automation. He said that twelve withholding taxes have been withdrawn as these are regressive in nature.

The Finance Minister said that the government has increased the annual PSDP by 40 percent from 630 billion rupees to 900 billion rupees. He said projects pertaining to transport and energy as well as the development of backward areas including Balochistan, Tribal Areas, Gilgit-Baltistan have been given priority in the development plan to bring prosperity and reduce poverty.

He said 1.1 billion dollars has been earmarked for the purchase of the anti-Covid vaccine. Five billion rupees have been set aside for the development of the E-voting system.

The Minister pointed out that Pakistan has become a net food importer and the present government will now spend on the agriculture sector to achieve self-reliance. He said that a plan has been formulated in cooperation with the provinces to uplift this sector. He said that cold storages and warehouses will be established and a network of agri-malls will be spread across the country to eliminate the role of the middle man.

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