Pakistan rolls out new taxes on weddings, shares in new ‘mini-budget’ to unlock IMF funds


ISLAMABAD – Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has tabled the Supplementary Finance Bill 2023 as the government rushed to meet stringent measures demanded by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for the revival of the stalled bailout package.

In his address in the lower house of parliament, the country’s finance czar draws a comparison of the performance of incumbent and previous governments. Dar slammed Imran Khan-led government, mentioning that a national committee was formed to find out the failures that hampered economic growth.

The proposals of the mini-budget include:

  • GST on luxury items jacked up from 17pc to 25pc
  • Federal excise duty on cigarettes and beverages raised
  • Federal excise duty on cement increased
  • Standard sales tax increased from 17pc to 18pc
  • Benazir Income Support Programme handouts increased to Rs400 billion from Rs360 billion
  • FDE on business, first-class air tickets to now be Rs20,000 or 50%
  • GST to not be imposed on essential goods

The PML-N stalwart also raised the General Sales Tax GST rate from 17 to 18 percent and increased the Federal Excise Duty (FED) on cigarettes.

The government rolled out a mini-budget under the guidelines of IMF to cut the budget deficit and increase the tax base.

Which items will become expensive in Pakistan after Rs170bn mini-budget’s approval?