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PM Shehbaz abolishes sales tax on import of solar technology

20 May, 2022
<p>Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif addresses the business community at the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Screengrab</p>

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif addresses the business community at the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Screengrab

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Monday said that the ‘powerful’ in the country supported their favourite person, adding that no one has enjoyed such unwavering support as the previous PTI-led government had enjoyed.

Addressing the business community at the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the premier said he was not there for “political point scoring” but to ask the business community to provide a solution to the crisis country was going through.

The prime minister asked if the PTI government had completed a single project in the country, adding that Imran Khan received full support from the ‘powers’.

The premier said that the previous government reduced the petrol prices after realising the success of the no-confidence motion against then premier Imran Khan.

Rupee devaluation against dollar

Speaking about the Pakistani rupee’s slide against the US dollar, the premier said that the US dollar was at Rs118 in August 2018, however, when the coalition government was formed it was at Rs189.

“The Rs 60-65 increase in the rupee value against the greenback wasn’t the coalition government’s fault,” he added.

The premier said that when the coalition government was formed after Khan was ousted through a vote of no-confidence in April, the country’s economy was suffering the worst crisis.

He said that during PTI’s tenure loans worth Rs22,000 billion were taken which shows an 80% increase from 2018.

“The powerful in the country supported their favourite person,” the premier said, adding that if the PML-N had received 30 percent of that support Pakistan would have made significant progress.

He said his goal is to stabilise the dollar rate, emphasising that sales of locally-produced goods need to be increased.

Ban on imports

PM Shehbaz said that he banned the import of certain items for some time and did not increase the duties because if the duties would be increased even by 200 percent the elite class of the country would have still purchased imported items after paying duties.

“The objective of banning (import of luxury item) is to save foreign exchange and bring stability. If we save $4 billion, this can meet our whole edible oil needs,” the premier said.

Power crisis

Speaking about the power crisis in the country the premier said that the country could not afford to purchase gas worth $20 billion and would have to move towards solar and wind energy.

The premier announced abolishing sales tax on import of solar technology.