After the government decided to impose a Rs40,000 fixed income tax on gold shop owners, Federal Minister of Finance and Revenue Miftah Ismail has hinted that realtors, builders, restaurants and salons would be next on the list.
“We are (gently) bringing in millions of shops into the tax net,” the federal minister tweeted Saturday, “I have brought jewellers into the net, and rest assured I will bring in all the professionals mentioned in the net over the next few months.”
According to Miftah Ismail, the government consulted gold shop owners before coming to an agreement with them on the amount of tax. He indicated that the government would consult other shop owners as well before adding them to the tax net.
“To bring small shopkeepers and jewellers into the net I talked to their associations and did so with their agreement,” he wrote. “Now I will bring in real estate brokers, builders, housing society developers, car dealers, restaurants, salons, etc. in the net. But nothing forced. It will be done with consultation.”
The taxes are being imposed in an attempt to meet the conditions set by the IMF which is giving Pakistan a bailout. The government has already announced a 10% super tax which would be levied on the thirteen big industries of Pakistan. These include the cement, sugar, automobile and oil industries among others.
Following the announcement of the super tax, over 2000 points were shaved of the Pakistan stock exchange.
According to the government, the decisions were being made to put a minimal burden on the lower-income class and to encourage the affluent class to help alleviate poverty.