PM suspends fixed tax collection through electricity bills

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Govt to make asset details of bureaucrats, MPs public

Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif on Saturday suspended the collection of fixed sales tax through electricity bills and directed to devise a new mechanism in this regard.

The prime minister also directed for an inquiry over the levy of increased sales tax ratio on shopkeepers/retailers, in the electricity bills other than the agreed one.

PM Shehbaz issued these instructions while presiding over a meeting to review fixed sales tax collection through electricity bills.

The meeting was attended by Minister for Energy Khurram Dastagir, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail, Minister of State for Petroleum Dr Musadik Malik, Chairman Federal Bureau of Revenue, concerned federal secretaries and other senior officials.

During the meeting, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif specifically asked for the inclusion of representatives of traders in the consultation process before taking any decision regarding tax collection from shopkeepers through utility bills.

Asserting that the government will take all steps for the economic security of the poor sections of the society, the Prime Minister directed the authorities concernedand ministries to immediately devise an effective mechanism to reduce power rates for the poor. Meanwhile, the Government has decided to make asset details of bureaucrats and members of the Parliament public as Pakistan and IMF reach agreement for the release of US$1.17 billion.

According to the LoI returned to the IMF after being signed by Pakistan, an electronic asset declaration system will be introduced by September and the asset details of wife and children of the government official between BPS-17 and BPS-22 will also be published.

The citizens, according to the LoI, will be able to access the asset declaration of the Parliamentarians. “Action will also be taken against bureaucrats hiding abroad assets in their declarations,” the sources said.

It merits mention that Finance Minister Miftah Ismail has announced that Pakistan has sent back the signed letter of intent to the International Monetary Fund.

 

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