Government misguided priorities make reforms useless – raising taxes on the salaried class is unjustified.

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Dr. Muhammad Hanif Mughal, Chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Shadbad, said on Thursday that increasing government expenditures and wrong policies are making reforms meaningless. He added that it is shameful to raise taxes on the salaried class in the budget, which will accelerate the brain drain.

In a statement issued today, Dr Hanif Mughal said that the budget shows that the policymakers are neither ready to do anything themselves nor want to burden the elite to improve matters. He said that the announcements made by economic managers before the budget could not be implemented for obvious reasons. Expenditures have been increased in some unnecessary sectors, which would increase the financial burden, and no other purpose will be achieved.

He said that in the budget, people with an income of 50 thousand rupees per month have been exempt from income tax, while the income tax of those earning six lakhs to 12 lakhs per year has been increased to five per cent.

The government is well aware that even those earning around Rs 125,000 per month are barely making ends meet, but still increasing the tax on them is cruel.

He demanded that those earning up to one and a half lakh per month be exempted from income tax, so this proposal should be reconsidered. Raising taxes on the salaried class proves that FBR has failed miserably to find new taxpayers and widen the tax net; its target is always the salaried class.

Dr Hanif Mughal said that eight billion rupees are collected from the whole country as property tax. In comparison, one hundred and fifty billion rupees are collected from only Mumbai, a city in India. If this sector is brought under the federal government, at least Rs 500 billion could be collected, but those calling the shots are bent on saving this mafia in the way the landlords are being saved.

He noted that the budget clearly shows that the drama in the name of reforms will continue, and low-income people will be further squeezed to reward the elites.

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