ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Miftah Ismail said that Pakistan will receive $2.3 billion from a consortium of Chinese banks by coming Monday.
He told media that the government has signed an agreement with Chinese banks’ consortium on Wednesday and cash will be transferred to Pakistan on June 27, 2022.
“During PTI government, there was heavy taxation on consumption which impacted the poor disproportionately throughout the country,” Finance Minister said at a news conference in Islamabad on Thursday.
“We are taxing the rich, 1% tax will be increased on people whose annual income is over Rs150 million, and 2% more taxes for those with an income of Rs200 million or more and 3% on those earning over Rs250 million.”
The minister said those with an income of over Rs300m will have to pay 4% more in income taxes.
“We have also imposed some super taxes with most taxes imposed on sugar,” he said adding that the companies owned by the Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s family will also be impacted by this tax.
He claimed that the government imposed taxes which impacted the ruling elite.
Meanwhile, finance minister blamed former prime minister Imran Khan for a record budget deficit.
“During the past four years of Imran Khan’s regime, the budget deficit was at a record high,” he said.
His statement came on the back of the reports that the International Monetary Fund had asked the government to roll-back the income tax relief that the government had announced for the salaried class in its budgetary proposals for the fiscal year 2022-23.
When Imran Khan came, the external debt was Rs25 trillion and when left, it had swelled to Rs45 trillion, he stated.
“How can you talk about self-sufficiency when you are asking for loans wherever you go?” asked Miftah.
“Real independence would come when you will not have to take loans,” he scoffed.
“Before the no-confidence motion, Imran Khan’s government used to charge Rs20 as levy and 10% sales tax on petroleum.”
“You suddenly started thinking about the poor when you were faced with a no-confidence motion and had brought your country to the brink of bankruptcy. You were turning Pakistan into Sri Lanka,” he accused.
Talking about loan from Chinese commercial banks, Miftah said that the Chinese banks have signed the loan agreement and Pakistan is expected to receive the money by tomorrow or maximum by Monday.
China, he said, has also decided re-roll the safe deposits which it had kept with the State Bank of Pakistan and were due to expire in June.
“They have done it on their own,” he stated, adding that the news had had a positive impact on the price of the US dollar in the interbank on Thursday.
Miftah also pointed to the measures taken by the government to control prices of essential goods such as ghee, claiming that the commodity was being sold for around Rs300 which had shot up to Rs550 earlier.