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President Asif Ali Zardari has approved the IMF deal of Finance Bill 2024 for the fiscal year 2024-25 under Article 75, following its passage through the National Assembly on Friday upon Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s advice. The federal budget, initially proposed at Rs. 18.9 trillion, underwent substantial modifications before securing majority approval. Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb oversaw detailed clause-by-clause readings and revisions.

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Key amendments include adjustments to advance tax policies affecting federal and provincial employees, armed forces personnel, and war-injured individuals. Additionally, the Association of Persons (AoPs), which earns over Rs. 10 million annually, now faces a 10% tax on income tax. Introducing a 5% excise duty on petroleum oil aims to generate an extra Rs. 15 billion, while air travel taxes have overflowed significantly.

Further changes include a 3% Federal Excise Duty (FED) on property transfers by filers and 5 percent by non-filers. An 18% sales tax has been charged on imported Afghan vegetables, fruits, pencils, drawing materials, diagnostic kits, and tractors. Islamabad now has a new Capital Value Tax on farmhouses and residential properties.

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The budget sets an enterprising tax revenue target of Rs. 13 trillion, aiming for a 48% increase in direct taxes and a 35% rise in indirect taxes. Non-tax revenue, notably from petroleum levies, is projected to grow by 64%. Workers face higher direct taxes, including an 18% tax on textile, leather products, mobile phones, and increased capital gains taxes from real estate.

These measures reflect efforts under the IMF deal and Pakistan bailout conditions, emphasizing fiscal joining and revenue generation amidst economic challenges.

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