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Mini budget: Import duty for print media, withholding tax for filers waived off

Mini budget: Import duty for print media, withholding tax for filers waived off
January 24, 2019
ISLAMABAD (92 News) –The federal government on Wednesday waived off import duty on print media and withholding tax for the filers. Finance Minister Asad Umar presented the Finance Supplementary Second Amendment bill 2019 in the National Assembly on Wednesday. Umar said that this was not a mini budget being presented but rather a set of economic reforms. He said an economic reforms package envisaging revolutionary incentives and measures to encourage investment, exports, ease of doing business and strengthen important sectors of the national economy. Reduce tax for small and medium enterprises The finance minister announced to reduce the tax for the small and medium enterprises sector from 39 percent to twenty percent to encourage business activity by low income investors especially the youth. Cut interest rate at agricultural loans The finance minister also announced to cut interest rate at the agricultural loans from 39 percent to 20 percent to bolster the agriculture sector. The minister said the Agri-loans have already witnessed twenty-two percent boost during the PTI governments’ first six months. Reduce income tax on housing schemes Asad Umar also announced to reduce income tax on housing schemes for low income people from 39 percent to 20 percent to encourage housing sector under Prime Minister’s project for construction of five million Houses for the middle and lower middle classes of the society. Touching upon the taxation sector, the minister declared to abolish withholding tax on banking deposits and transactions for the filers, adding that duty on import of newsprint eliminated. Five billion rupees interest free loan The minister said a revolving fund with an amount of five billion rupees will to provide interest free loans for the construction of small houses. He said that to provide low-income housing, 5 billion rupees revolving fund for interest-free loans (qarz-i-husna) to be introduced. Reduce tax for marriage halls Asad Umar announced tax on marriage halls of 500 square feet will be reduced from 20,000 to 5,000 rupees. Non-filers to purchase automobiles upto 1300cc He said non-filers would now be allowed to purchase automobiles upto 1300cc. However, their tax rate will be enhanced to generate more revenue and encourage the people to become filers. Ease of doing business To promote ease of doing business, Asad Umar declared that the business community will now be required to file their statements about withholding tax only twice in a year from the previous practice of filling twelve statements in a year. Renewable energy products exempt from sales tax, customs duty In the next five years, those working to manufacture renewable energy products will be exempt from sales tax and customs duty. Investment in solar panels, wind turbines exempt from duties and taxation for five years. No tax on bids for sports Asad Umar announced that no tax on bids for sports franchises until profitability. Tax for low priced phones The minister said that tax for low priced phones will be decreased, will remain the same for expensive phones. Promissory notes for exporters Asad Umar announced that the scheme to be introduced of promissory notes for exporters. “Any exporter will be able to take loans from banks on these notes.” Duty on diesel engines He further declared that the duty on diesel engines for agricultural purposes decreased to five per cent. “No Gas Infrastructure Development Cess on fertiliser production.”
Sahiwal Incident
Prior to the mini-budget presentation, Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif also called for the resignation of the prime minister followed by that of Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar. The PML-N president said a judicial commission had been announced the same night as the Model Town incident. Responding to Sharif, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said the government had not only condemned the Sahiwal incident, but the prime minister had issued directives to the chief minister Punjab. "What was said about the elected chief minister was not appropriate," Qureshi asserted. Qureshi said the prime minister directed that a report on Sahiwal should be presented within 72 hours. "The JIT within the timeframe came to the conclusion that the Khalil family was innocent." "Unlike the past governments, this government did not try to suppress the facts," the minister added. According to Qureshi the facts will be presented before the Parliament and people and those responsible will be held accountable. At the outset of proceedings, the House offered fateha for the departed soul of former Parliamentarian Malik Hakmeen Khan. The House will now meet at 11am tomorrow.

Salient features of Finance Supplementary (Second Amendment) Bill of 2019

  • Withholding tax for filers on banking transactions will be eliminated.
  • Non-fillers can purchase small and mid-size cars up to 1300CC.
  • Tax increased on purchase of vehicles over 1800cc.
  • Taxes on marriage halls reduced to Rs5000.
  • Duty on import of newsprint eliminated.
  • Tax being reduced on small business institutions.
  • Government to introduce Rs5 bn Qarz-e-Hasna scheme
  • To provide low-income housing, loans will be decreased to 20 percent.
  • Rs5 billion revolving fund will be introduced.
  • Special economic zones have been formed keeping in mind the interest of CPEC.
  • Pakistan’s imports have declined.
  • Pakistan’s fiscal losses have declined.
  • Import duty on raw material is being reduced.
  • No tax on bids for sports franchises until profitability.
  • Super tax will be eliminated for non-banking companies from July 1.
  • Rs1470 sales tax imposed on imported mobile phones worth $30 to $100
  • Rs1870 sales tax imposed on imported mobile phones worth $100 to $200
  • Rs1930 sales tax imposed on imported mobile phones worth $200 to $350
  • Rs6000 sales tax imposed on imported mobile phones worth $350 to $500
  • Rs10300 sales tax imposed on imported mobile phones worth more than $500
  • New industries will be exempted from income taxes for five years