ISLAMABAD: Opposition leader in the National Assembly, Chaudhry Nisar has said that suppporting the reformed general sales tax (RGST) would be tantamount to committing a crime. He warned of stern opposition if the government tried to impose it.
Nisar made this categorical statement in the National Assembly's session today (Thursday). Opposition parties boycotted the meeting and vowed to block the passage of imposing new taxes on the masses. The MQM has also openly protested the RGST today.
ANP's minister Ghulam Ahmed Bilour termed the RGST and flood relief surcharge a 'sin' by the government of Pakistan. At one stage the PPP's minister Syed Khursheed Shah blamed the PML-N for point scoring on price hike and other issues.
PML-N and PML-Q have also joined hands to move a resolution against hike in petroleum products prices in the National Assembly. The speaker adjouned the session till Friday.
The federal cabinet has approved a bill to overhaul the tax regime, announcing new tax measures of Rs69 billion, primarily to rebuild flood-hit areas, initiating a process of ‘correcting past mistakes’.
Allied parties remained wary of the new tax and major coalition partners like the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), Awami National Party (ANP) and Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) expressed reservations, insisting that they had not been taken into confidence on the bill. (read the full report here).
International lenders have been urging Pakistan to reform its taxation regime and power sector tariffs as a prerequisite for continuing support for the country’s ailing economy.