Mini budget so soon!

ACCORDING to media reports, authorities concerned are
contemplating to go for, what is being dubbed, a mini budget in a bid to shore up national kitty. They are reportedly considering different options to raise additional Customs duty by one percent on all imported items or jack up Regulatory Duty on 1,550 items to discourage rising import bill.
Adjustment in policies is a routine thing and regulatory duties or Customs Duty are imposed, withdrawn, lowered or increased as per requirements. The Government is surely facing severe financial crisis as, according to reports, ministries, departments, corporations and other entities are not getting anything except funds for salary and house hiring and arrears on different accounts are piling up. There is no doubt that we need to collect enough to finance our development and non-development expenditure but presently we are meeting our requirements mostly through loans raised locally or from bilateral or multilateral donors. However, consideration of mini budget during first three weeks of the new financial year is nothing but lamentable and speaks volumes about the quality of our planning. What is the purpose of preparing, announcing and approving budget for the whole year when we have to readjust taxes every now and then? And this is not question of lack of planning but putting additional and unbearable burden on consumers. This is because Pakistan rupee has been devalued in a care free manner and as a consequence prices of all imported goods are going up rapidly. Now over and above that increase, any move to enhance regulatory or customs duty on any items would be injustice to the people of Pakistan. You have the option to tax the untaxed or under-taxed but there is absolutely no justification to increase the burden of taxes on all people irrespective of their capacity to pay. After all, this is also not mandate of the caretaker Government and, hopefully, the new Government too would not go for such an ill-conceived option.

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