Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Friday announced that to control the "storm of inflation", the government would impose a 10 percent "super tax" on large-scale industries, the media reported.
In his address, the premier discussed the "tough" economic decisions taken by the incumbent coalition government, as Pakistan edges towards a default, the Express Tribune reported.
The premier stated that the revenue generated from the "super tax" would be beneficial for "poverty alleviation" in order to support the burden of inflation on the masses.
Sectors which will be subject to the tax include; steel, sugar, cement, oil, gas, fertilisers, LNG terminals, banking, textile, automobile, cigarettes, chemicals and beverages.
The Prime Minister stated that the cross-subsidy would be used to strengthen public services such as education and the health sector. He added that such policies were necessary to reduce the country's reliance on foreign loans. "That is what we call economic freedom; that is what we call coming out of the shackles of slavery of borrowing money," he said. The premier further announced the imposition of another tax on those members of society who earn an annual income of more than 150 million rupees, 200 million rupees, 250 million rupees, and 300 million rupees or higher, Express Tribune reported.
While announcing the increased tax rates, Shehbaz Sharif stated that the "rich would have to do their part" to alleviate the burden of inflation on the poorer segments of society.
Following Sharif’s call, the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) on Friday witnessed a bloodbath immediately after Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif announced a super tax on large scale industries.
The benchmark KSE-100 index opened in the green in line with its positive trend a day earlier; however, it soon plunged a massive 2,053.35 points or 4.81 per cent, Geo News reported.