Mini-budget to be introduced on Jan 23: Asad Umar

Finance Minister Asad Umar on Saturday announced that the government will present the mini-budget on January 23.
The mini-budget was initially set to be presented on January 21 but was delayed as Prime Minister Imran Khan will be travelling, Umar said during a meeting with traders at Karachi Chamber of Commerce.
“Tax anomalies will be removed in the mini-budget,” the finance minister said.
“Any changes in tax policy will be made after approval from the Parliament,” he added.
Umar further said, “Powers of Federal Board of Revenue’s (FBR) statutory regulatory orders (SROs) have been withdrawn.”
Last month, in his briefing to the Senate Standing Committee on Finance, Umar had said the government was mulling over bringing another supplementary budget.
He said an increase in taxes had been proposed but the government could consider decreasing taxes in order to boost the economy.
This would be the second such budget introduced by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government since it was voted into power in the July 28 general election.
The finance minister had presented Finance Supplementary (Amendment) Bill 2018 in the National Assembly in September, saying that “difficult times called for difficult measures”.
The ‘mini-budget’, as it was called, cut planned development spending and increased taxes for higher earners.
The key proposals in the mini-budget included withdrawal of the government’s decision to increase petroleum development levy; Rs5 billion relief to the export industry; increase in minimum pension to Rs10,000; increase in duty on expensive mobile phones; duty on 1800cc and above vehicles at 20 percent; increase in WHT on banking transactions for non-filers to 0.6 percent; and introduction of health cards, among others.