LAHORE: Prime Minister (PM) Yousaf Raza Gilani said on Saturday that the Reformed General Sales Tax (RGST) Bill was tabled in the National Assembly after having consensus from all provinces in the Council of Common Interests (CCI) meeting.
Speaking to journalists at a hospital in Lahore, the prime minister said no political party including the PML-N had rejected the RGST. The prime minister had come to visit former Senator Gulzar Ahmed Khan.
Gilani said Pakistan is not being pressurised by any foreign country to impose the RGST. “People have elected us, we are not the enemy of the public.”
The prime minister said that at the Council of Common Interest forum, all provinces had shown their inability to provide the agreed amount of Rs80,000 to each flood affected family, which left the federal government with no option but to impose a flood tax to generate funds.
“The flood tax is not going to be permanent, but an interim arrangement to be imposed for a period of six months, the PM said.
The PM said the international community is helping flood victims from their tax-payers’ money and they expect Pakistan to do something on its own. “We should send a message to the world that we are a civilized nation and do not depend totally on foreign assistance,” he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 14th, 2010.
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