Pakistan News

Summary ready for duty reductions on commodities

ISLAMABAD: The government on Wednesday decided to reduce duty and taxes on several items to bring down the prices in the domestic market, Dawn learnt from knowledgeable sources.

A summary for the formal approval will be submitted to the cabinet on Thursday. The approval will be sought through a cabinet meeting by circulation to implement the decision in urgency without waiting for a formal cabinet meeting.

It has been proposed to waive two per cent withholding tax on import of pulses. The falling prices of pulses in the international market along with tax waiver will reduce the price of pulses in the domestic market.

It was proposed to reduce withholding tax from 4.5pc to 1.5pc on supply of 20-25 food items to the Utility Stores Corporation (USC). The reduction in tax will also lead to relief in end prices of the food items for the common people at the USCs.

It was also decided to exempt duty on import of diagnostic support and personal protective equipment (PPE). “We have requested the Ministry of National Health for addition of these items”, the source said, adding some changes in the nomenclature of a few items to make their imports easier were already notified.

The government has already exempted import of 61 diagnostic support and PPE from all duties and taxes for a period of three months in order to reduce the rising prices of these items in the domestic market.

The source said that it has not yet been decided to eliminate capital value tax on capital market transactions. The source said the government is mulling two options to abolish the levy: through a presidential ordinance or finance bill in the upcoming budget.

The government has withdrawn 60pc regulatory duty on wheat, 25pc on wheat flour, 40pc on sugar to keep check on hoarders in the domestic market.

Published in Dawn, March 26th, 2020

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