Mini budget 2019: Enabling purchase of immovable property by non residents Pakistanis
Withholding tax for filers on banking transactions will be eliminated.
Finance Minister Asad Umar presented the Finance Supplementary Second Amendment Bill, 2019 (also known as the mini-budget)
Umar tried to clarify at the beginning of his speech that he is not presenting a mini-budget, in fact, better call it ‘a set of economic reforms’. However, the finance minister didn’t forget to lash out his opponents raising a question that what the previous government had left behind for the people of Pakistan.
Umar quoted “Two years ago, an economic situation began to develop when all economic experts started to say that danger bells are ringing. But instead, those in power did not pay heed, they thought the people were ignorant, and instead they conspired to ‘buy’ an election.”
Umar also reiterated the fact that the deficit has been raised to Rs900 billion, asking who would fill this gap. “How will this gap be filled? Will it come from their Swiss accounts? No. That money is filled with money paid by the citizens.”
According to the finance minister, Umar also said that there were record losses in Railways, Steel Mills, PIA, and other institutions, and the Pml(n) had left the country in debt of up to Rs2,500 to Rs3,000 billion.
Some of the salient features of what he called economic reforms are as follows:
Salient features :
- Tax on agricultural loans to be reduced from 39% to 20%
- To provide low-income housing, Rs5 billion revolving fund for loans to be introduced.
- Withholding tax for filers on banking transactions will be eliminated to encourage the culture of paying taxes.
- Non-filers will be able to purchase small and mid-size cars up to 1300CC, but the tax would be increased.
- Enabling purchase of immovable property and vehicles by non-residents Pakistanis.
- The tax has been decreased to Rs5000 for small wedding halls up to 500 square feet.
- The pilot scheme to be introduced in Islamabad to facilitate traders in filing and paying taxes.
- Duty on import of newsprint eliminated.
- Special economic zones have been formed keeping in mind the interest of CPEC.
- In the next 5 years, those working to produce products for renewable energy will be exempt from sales tax and customs duty.
- No tax on bids for sports franchises until profitability.
- From July 1 super tax will be eliminated for non-banking companies.
- Continuation of 1pc per annum reduction in corporate income tax.
- Withholding tax on trading in the stock exchange to be removed.
- The tax will be increased for vehicles over 1800CC
- Tax for low priced phones will be decreased, will remain the same for expensive phones.
- 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 for agricultural purposes decreased to five percent.
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