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Criticising His Own PTI Govt: Asad Umar For Withdrawing Taxes On Essential Items, Probe Into Increase in Sugar Price

ISLAMABAD: In a surprising development, former finance minister Asad Umar on Thursday criticised the PTI government over the budget measuring and called for reconsidering the taxes imposed on essential food items.

Speaking on the floor of the National Assembly, Umar expressed reservations over the budget presented by his own party’s government, Geo News reported.

“Tax on sugar has been raised. Prices of sugar have already risen at an alarming rate and I think this should also be investigated,” said Asad and added that it was inappropriate to raise tax on sugar when the price had already increased at an alarming rate.

“This tax [on sugar] is not appropriate. I think this should be withdrawn. And I believe it should also be investigated why sugar prices are rising at such a rate,” he said.

The former finance minister further urged Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh to take back taxes on edible oil and ghee.

Asad, however, said there were several problems that had been there for a long time, as he also criticised the PML-N. “The PML-N government left the economy in shambles. Due to the government’s efforts, the current account deficit decreased by 70 per cent in just a few months. We need to stop relying on other countries for exports. Instead, we should give a tax exemption to those bringing new business into the country for the next five years.”

The PTI leader added that Gas Infrastructure Development Cess should to be abolished and  urged the government that an increase of 10 to 15 per cent in the pension should also be considered.

“Labourers should be registered at the Employees Old-Age Benefits Institution (EOBI) along with domestic workers,” he added.

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