Thursday 17 January 2019
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The News - 6 days ago

Finance Minister Asad Umar to present mini-budget on Jan 23

KARACHI: Finance Minister Asad Umar on Saturday announced to present the government s mini-budget on January 23.The mini-budget was initially expected on January 21 but was delayed owing to Prime Minister Imran Khan traveling schedule. Hence, it is now to be presented on January 23, Umar said during a meeting with industrialists at Karachi Chamber of Commerce. Tax anomalies will be removed in the mini-budget, the finance minister said. Any changes in tax policy will be made after approval from the Parliament, he added.Umar went on to add, Powers of Federal Board of Revenue s (FBR) statutory regulatory orders (SROs) have been withdrawn. During the meeting, industrialists also raised objections over authority given to low cadre FBR officers. Speaking to the media after the meeting, Umar said, In the 21st Century, private sector runs the economy, thus, we have to prioritise our decisions. Till we don t create a favourable environment for private investors, they will not invest after certain limit no matter how patriotic they are, he added. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is the only political party which mentions ease of doing business in its manifesto. Every month a meeting is summoned and chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan to discuss ease of doing business, said the Finance Minister. Savings and investment are at their lowest in the country. This is why in the mini-budget we will take measures to lower consumption and increase investment, he stated. The Finance Bill to be tabled on January 23 will highlight benefits of investment and ease of doing business. Last month, during his briefing to the Senate Standing Committee on Finance, Umar had said that the government is weighing in the possibility of bringing another supplementary budget. This would be the second such budget introduced by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government since it was voted to power in the July 28 general election.The minister had presented Finance Supplementary (Amendment) Bill 2018 in the National Assembly in September, saying that difficult times called for difficult measures . The mini-budget had axed planned development expense and increased taxes for high earners.

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