As the nation buckles under the recent onslaught of financial burden in the form of taxes, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail has admitted that it was his failure.
The admission came during the minister’s, who holds a PhD degree in public finance and political economy from an American university, interview with a private news channel.
The talk had turned to the super tax that the government announced last week.
Winding up the budget debate in the National Assembly, Miftah said the government introduced an initiative under which traders, both small and big, will pay a fixed tax which will be charged through their shops’ electricity bills.
The decision was met with much criticism as the burden will eventually increase on the salaried class which is struggling to make ends meet due to the incessant price hikes in Pakistan.
“It is my fault,” Miftah Ismail said.
Moreover, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had raised issues with Pakistan’s federal budget, claiming that it needs to take additional measures. As a result, the government decided to impose a greater tax on salaried individuals.
People earning between Rs50,000 and Rs100,000 per month would now be charged income tax of 2.5% against the fixed rate of Rs100 that had been announced in the budget speech earlier this month. For earners of Rs100,000 to Rs300,000 per month, the proposed tax rate has been jacked up to 12.5%.
Regarding this increase, Miftah said it was his fault that he was not able to convince the IMF.
MIFTAH FACING AXE? The finance minister is the target of heavy criticism due to the storm of price hikes in Pakistan as a result of IMF demands. He has been consistently taking measures that are causing Pakistan’s economy to suffer.
There are speculations that he will be replaced by former finance minister Ishaq Dar who has confirmed his return to Pakistan. According to reports, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has asked Ishaq Dar to return and head the economic team.
Reacting to the rumors, Miftah said he would be content with being replaced with senior PML-N leader Ishaq Dar and would happily vacate the post for the latter if the party leadership decided to do so.