President Arif Alvi approves mini-budget

President Arif Alvi on Wednesday accorded approval to Finance (Supplementary) Bill, 2023, generally known as the mini-budget.

The approval was given in accordance with Article 75 of the constitution.

The president Arif Alvi accorded approval after National Assembly (NA) passed the Finance (Supplementary) Bill 2023, proposing additional taxes and duties of Rs170 billion to meet the IMF conditions for the revival of the Extended Fund Facility (EFF).

Finance bill 

Under the finance supplementary bill (mini-budget), the government decided to increase the General Sales Tax (GST) from 17 per cent to 18 per cent.

It has been decided to hike the GST on luxury items from 17 per cent to 25 per cent.

For air travel, it has been proposed that a fixed amount of Federal Excise Duty (FED) ranging from Rs250,000 to Rs75,000 of different tiers as per the International Air Transport Association (IATA) on airfare for first, business and club classes should be imposed.

Moreover, a 10 per cent withholding adjustable advance tax will be levied on the bills of wedding halls in order to promote simplicity and austerity.

The FED will be enhanced on sugary and aerated drinks and it will also be increased on cement from Rs1.5 to Rs2 per kg.

IMF agreement

Pakistan was eyeing to reach an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that would not only lead to a disbursement of $1.2bn but also unlock inflows from friendly countries.

Sources have revealed that the staff-level agreement between the fund and the government is expected next week.

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