ISLAMABAD: After the tax-heavy mini-budget by the Ministry of Finance, the federal government has raised the petroleum prices by Rs22 to fulfill the demands of the International Monetary Funds (IMF) and revive the $7 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF). As per the notification, the petrol price has been increased by Rs22.20 and the high-speed diesel by Rs17.20.
After the notification, petrol will be available at Rs272 per litre. The high-speed diesel’s new price is Rs280. Meanwhile, the rate of kerosene has also gone up by Rs12.30 and will sell at Rs202.73 per litre. Light-speed diesel price has also gone up by Rs9.68 and reached Rs196.88 per litre.
The government has increased the GST rate on all items from 17% to 18%. The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) had earlier increased the tax on cigarettes. According to the notification issued by FBR, sales tax on all packaged goods has been increased, after which edible oil, ghee, biscuits, spices, jam, jelly, noodles, toys, chocolates and coffee have become expensive.
The new notification will also apply to make-up products, shaving foam, shampoo, cream, lotion, soap and toothpaste. With the increase in the sales tax rate, TV, LED, LCD, smart mobile phones, iPods, computers, laptops and gadgets, juicers, blenders, shakers and other electronic machinery have become more expensive. Economic analysts said that the increase in the GST rate would burden the public by more than 50 billion rupees.
The federal excise duty on cement has been reduced from Rs1.5 per kg to Rs2. In the mini-budget, it is proposed to levy a 10 per cent withholding advance income tax on the bills of wedding ceremonies.
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said that measures taken would stabilise prices and increase incomes. He added that the GDP would grow better, and initially, the progress of economy would remain slow. Ishaq Dar added that there would be no additional tax on wheat, rice, milk, pulses, vegetables, eggs, chicken and meat.