CAP rejects IMF condition to raise GST

Reacting to the proposed finance bill aimed at raising the general sales tax (GST) from 17% to 18%, the Chain stores Association of Pakistan (CAP) has announced its resistance to International Monetary Fund (IMF) pressure, stating that the new taxation measures are destructive and will add to the misery of traders already coping with serious financial crisis

CAP Chairman Rana Tariq Mehboob, observed that the new taxation measures will jolt the very basis of trade and industry and will clamp down on the purchasing power of consumers

This will ultimately hit the manufacturing sector very hard

“It will be better if the government takes measures to expand the tax net instead of introducing new taxes for the already taxed segments of society,” Mehboob said while talking to the media on Monday

Explaining that the price of petroleum had already smashed the middle and lower classes, he said, “It has become tradition for the government to axe its handful of tax-payers over and over instead of expanding its tax net

” “Only tier-one retailers are paying taxes – this has robbed the formal sector of competitiveness and a level-playing field,” said Mehboob

“Under the domino effect of dollarisation, the skyrocketing inflation, which is already in the midst of a decade-high level, along with the unprecedented rupee depreciation, high energy tariffs, escalating mark-up rate, rising commodity prices, fluctuating exchange-rate and balance-of-payment crisis, will lead to a further hike in headline inflation, taking a toll on the local economy,” he warned

Due to serious imbalances, Pakistan cannot afford to roll out monetary and fiscal policies to achieve the economic growth rate of over 4% it had predicted earlier for FY 2023-24

The energy rates and the effect of reduced market times added on to their miseries, said Mehboob, demanding the government to come up with long-term sustainable economic policies

Commenting on the levy collected on the point sales, he said nothing was being returned as had been pledged by the government

Mehboob proposed to stop charging consumers if the return was not assured and demanded the ease of raw material imports

Published in The Express Tribune, February 21st, 2023

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Date:22-Feb-2023 Reference:View Original Link