Pakistan Rules Out Additional Tax on Agriculture Income

Pakistan Rules Out Additional Tax on Agriculture Income

Islamabad, July 19, 2023: Coordinator to Prime Minister on Economy and Energy, Bilal Azhar Kayani, categorically stated on Wednesday that the government has no intentions of imposing additional taxes on the income of the agriculture sector.

Addressing a news conference, he emphasized that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) is committed to steering the country towards economic stability and progress after the next general elections.

Kayani credited Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s dedicated efforts for successfully entering into a nine-month Stand-By Agreement (SBA) with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which received overwhelming support from the nation. He highlighted the positive economic indicators, such as the Pakistan Stock Exchange experiencing a remarkable increase of 2446 points on July 3, crossing the 45,000 mark, and Fitch’s improvement of Pakistan’s credit rating.

The coordinator acknowledged concerns regarding IMF loans but asserted that they were necessary for the country’s economic well-being, leading to increased foreign reserves and exchange rate stability. Additionally, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and China have provided substantial financial assistance to Pakistan.

Kayani condemned attempts by certain elements to undermine the national economy through petty politics. He clarified that no new taxes have been imposed on the agricultural sector and assured that socially vulnerable classes are receiving financial assistance through the social protection program. The government is also focused on reconstruction and development efforts in areas affected by floods.

He denounced the spread of misinformation about the IMF program, particularly false claims of additional taxes. The government has made changes within the budget to reduce expenditures while increasing the budget for the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP).

The coordinator highlighted the government’s commitment to economic stability and the implementation of reforms. Choosing to adopt the IMF program was necessary to avoid severe impacts on the common people, especially the economically weaker sections of society.

He criticized vested groups for sabotaging the IMF agreement to create difficulties for the newly elected government and push Pakistan towards default. Kayani reminded that PML-N had previously successfully completed an IMF program and achieved economic stability with effective policies and governance during its tenure.

The government is now focused on measures to increase investment, with special attention given to sectors such as Information Technology and agriculture to boost revenues and improve living standards for economically vulnerable sections of society.

READ MORE: Fresh Petroleum Prices in Pakistan Updated Up to July 18, 2023