Fixed retail tax removed: PM exempts 17.1 million electricity consumers from FAC

DOHA: Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday announced full exemption for about 17.1 million out of 30 million electricity consumers in the country from paying fuel adjustment charges in electricity bills.

As an immediate relief measure to the masses, the Prime Minister said the government has also notified the cancellation of the levy of fixed taxes on retailers and traders.

He announced that out of 30 million consumers, a total of 17.100 million would not pay Fuel Adjustment Charges (FAC) in their electricity bills as they are now abolished. “After this relief announcement, they will not pay a single rupee under FAC,” he added.

He said about 300,000 users of agricultural tubewells in the country would also enjoy full waiver of fuel adjustment fees.

The Prime Minister further explained that a mechanism in this regard will be announced soon, adding that they are also looking at the costs of other electricity users.

Accompanied by members of his delegation to Qatar where he arrived for a two-day official visit, the Prime Minister said that when they came to power, they had two objectives to achieve.

The coalition government carried the backlog of the previous government which had left behind a trail of worse performance and economic decline, and due to their pathetic policies the country was on the brink of default, he said , adding but due to the tireless efforts of the government in place, this danger was averted.

The Prime Minister said that the poor performance of the previous government led to the rise in commodity prices, but his government continued its day and night efforts to control it.

He said they hadn’t done much but collective efforts were underway “to get the price hike djinn back in the bottle”.

The Prime Minister regretted that during the debate on the adoption of the first tax budget, they discussed the issue of the fixed tax on retailers and merchants, but practically things went wrong, which did not reflect reality.

Imposing such taxes went against the spirit of what they had discussed, he said, adding that due to such measures, small traders had to face an additional burden of paying taxes.

The Prime Minister clarified that this was neither the government’s objective nor had the government discussed such a mechanism.

A committee has been set up to determine the responsibility on the matter who will submit its report, he said, adding that the process would take some time.

The Prime Minister said that a notification has also been issued regarding the removal of fixed taxes of Rs 3,000, 6,000 and 10,000 on traders.

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