Govt Raises GST to 18% on IMF Demand
On Tuesday, the government raised the general sales tax (GST) rate to 18% and imposed higher levies on cigarettes in order to generate Rs. 115 billion out of the expected Rs. 170 billion mini-budget.
The federal cabinet implemented these measures after President Arif Alvi failed to publish an ordinance sent by the government, as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had imposed a condition for the restoration of the halted $6.5 billion initiative. The IMF requires permanent tax measures, which the government plans to obtain through parliamentary approval.
The federal cabinet used its administrative authority to increase the GST rate by 1% to 18% and impose higher federal excise duty (FED) rates on cigarettes, effective from midnight. This marked the first time the government made a significant impact on the tobacco sector through increased taxes on cigarettes.
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