Dar clarifies ‘misreporting’ in post-budget press conference

ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Saturday clarified that the government has imposed no new tax on basic commodities.
While addressing the post-budget press conference in Islamabad this afternoon, he said that the government has not increased prices of ghee, sugar, milk, pulses, edible oil, furnace oil and high speed diesel.
Explaining the salient features of the budget, he clarified that the taxes have been levied on the affluent class and not the poor. He said it is a developmental and poor-friendly budget which would strengthen our national economy.
Ishaq Dar said that the government has given incentives to government employees increasing their pay and pension by 7.5 percent. He said that government has also announced to merge two ad-hoc relief allowances in the basic pay scales and to reduce income tax on their salaries from five to two percent.
The minister said that the government has also allocated 102 billion rupees for Benazir Income Support Programme to help the poor and destitute. To a query, Dar said that the government has not withdrawn subsidy on wheat for Gilgit-Baltistan (GB).
He clarified that the subsidy of Rs. 6.05 billion for GB on wheat would remain intact and the provision to this effect has been provided in the budget 2015-16. He said that a section of media “misreported the facts and showed irresponsibility while reporting the budget speech”.
Ishaq Dar asked the media to thoroughly read the budget document and then report. “It was unfortunate and media should avoid such an irresponsible reporting,” he said. The finance minister further said that government has withdrawn sales tax on mobiles.