Seventeen percent tax on edibles criticised/ against national interests, Decision to hit majority of the poor, open flood gates to inflation Declaring packaged food as luxury items IMF’s recipe.

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May 20, 2016

President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President AKIA, Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Friday criticised government’s decision to impose five to seventeen percent sales tax on different food items terming it against the interests of masses.

Over half of the population is already living under poverty line and burdening them with additional billions will hurt them badly while country will witness a flood of inflation, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that majority of the masses are unable to buy meat or mutton while the price of poultry has gone up to Rs200 per kg in summer which must be probed.

He said that increase price of chicken can be attributed to cartelisation and unabated exports which must be controlled in the interest of masses.

Now, government has decided to impose up to 17 percent tax on packaged milk, meat, mutton and cooking oil terming it luxury items, he said.

The veteran business leader said that declaring packaged food as luxury items is IMF’s recipe which is extremely unpopular with the masses.

He said that per capita consumption of milk, egg, meat and mutton is already well below the limit which will go down further after additional taxes worth billion which will create health issues.

Government had imposed ten percent sales tax on yogurt, cream, desi ghee etc. In the last budget which is now being jacked up to 17 percent which can result in political problems, he warned.

001 - May 20, 2016 English 002 - May 20, 2016 Urdu

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