Pak’s mini-budget aftermath: Medicines, cellular services become expensive

Islamabad: Amid soaring inflation in Pakistan, the rates of medicines, prepaid cellular cards and sales tax rate on import of electric vehicles have increased due to the mini-budget worth Rs 360 billion, which was passed by the National Assembly last week.

Cellular service providers there informed the users that advance tax on prepaid cards has been increased from the existing 10 per cent to 15 per cent.

This comes at a time when even after strong opposition in parliament, the Imran Khan government, succumbing to the conditions set by Internation Monetary Fund (IMF), approved Supplementary Finance Bill, also known as mini-budget.

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After the increase, a total of Rs 27.80 will be deducted on recharge of Rs 100 and they will get a net balance of Rs 72.20 instead of Rs 76.10 after the imposition of additional taxes, reported The Express Tribune.

After the increase in the advance tax rate, the general sales tax deducted will be Rs 13 instead of the preciously deduction of Rs 9.10. Furthermore, GST will remain at Rs 14.80 on mobile top-up.

The government also succumbed to pressure exerted by local car assemblers and increased the sales tax rate to 12.5% on the import of electric vehicles — even higher than the initial 5% rate it had proposed while introducing the “mini-budget”, reported the newspaper.

Earlier, PML-N leader Shahbaz Sharif criticised the Government’s decision to increase petroleum prices and said that the regime is committing “economic murder of the poor”, reported Geo News.

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