The Senate Standing Committee on Finance rejected the Finance Bill 2019-20 and said that they could not stamp taxation measures causing price hike and burdening the common people more. However, the treasury members proposed that the government should fix the exchange rate at Rs151 to a dollar by floating dollars in the market and slash the interest rate from 12.25% to 9%. Both these proposals are against the agreement signed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
“The increase in taxes whereby these taxes burden the common man and increase the prices of goods used by the common man is rejected in totality,” said Standing Committee Chairman Senator Farooq H Naek while reading out the committee’s decision.
JUI-F, PML-N and PPP members supported the rejection of the Finance Bill and two members of the PTI walked out against the committee’s decision. “The country has always had deficit budgets and people should not be burdened due to mistakes committed by the PTI government in the past one year,” remarked Senator Ayesha Raza. Moreover, the senate members also asked the government to directly disclose the names of those who did not pay the taxes.
The government has hiked tax rates on the salaried class, corporate sector, interest income, dividends, business income, imposed sales tax on every thinkable commodity, enhanced additional customs duty rates and imposed federal excise duty on cars, cement, steel, cooking oil, etc.
This is expected to stoke inflation in the next fiscal year, estimated at 13%, and would slow down economic growth to 2.4%, which is a perfect stagflation situation that causes unemployment and poverty in the country.
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17 November, 2019