KARACHI: Advisor to the Prime Minister on Finance Shaukat Tarin has said that all taxes on petrol have been abolished and that all benefits from the reduction in oil prices will be transferred to the people.
Talking to media in his visit to Pakistan Stock Exchange in Karachi, Tarin said if we do not refinance, something else will have to be done. “The real effective exchange rate should be close to 165, 166. Our money is undervalued by Rs10,” he said, adding that there were rumours that lockers would be seized, but no such thing will happen.
Tarin said that our problem is with the lower middle class because they are being exploited. “Our problem is not of poverty, but of inflation,” he said, adding that according to the World Bank, poverty in the country has decreased by 1%.
Inflation in the United States has reached 9% and the US has taken action on the price of oil, which is coming down, he said.
The finance advisor said that the government will not allow any increase in taxes, and that no new taxes will be imposed. “Only tax exemptions will be abolished and all taxes on petrol have also been abolished. All the benefits of reduction in oil prices will be passed on to the people,” he said.
Speaking about the rupee, Tarin urged people not to pay attention to rumours. “The value of the rupee will not decrease,” he assured, warning those who are thinking that they will earn from the dollar that they will be hit hard when the value of the dollar comes down.
These speculators will be shocked when the value of the dollar decreases, he commented.
He further said that we have to develop the agriculture sector, highlighting that the government is giving a subsidy of more than Rs150 billion to fertilizer companies for gas.
“Is this subsidy reaching the farmers?” he asked, adding that the government will make sure this becomes a reality.
Tarin then spoke about small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) being the backbone of any country. There are 400,000-500,000 SMEs in Pakistan, he said.