ISLAMABAD: The government has decided not to withdraw the proposed one per cent increase in general sales tax (GST) for fiscal year 2013-14.
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, winding up the budget debate in the National Assembly on Saturday, said that he had carefully reviewed the opposition’s recommendations on the increase in GST but the country’s economic condition currently did not leave room for withdrawal of the increase.
Dar said that there was a Rs374 billion revenue shortfall in Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) collections during the past fiscal year. This year begins with the biggest budget deficit.
“Other countries apply 17 % GST rates, just like us,” said Dar.
However, the finance minister assured the house that the government will withdraw the one per cent increase if the resource situation allowed for it.
The finance minister told the house that minimum wages for labour had been increased from Rs8,000 to Rs10,000.
According to Dar, the government incorporated 21 recommendation proposals from Senate into the finance bill this year. This has been a first in Pakistan’s history, he claimed.