Federal Cabinet approves RGST Bill-2010

ISLAMABAD: Federal cabinet has approved Reformed General Sales Tax (RGST) Bill-2010 while allied parties of PPP-led government including MQM, ANP and JUI-F have expressed their reservations for not being taken into confidence on bill.

Cabinet met here Wednesday under the Prime Minister (PM) Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani in PM secretariat. Finance Minister senator Abdul Hafiz Sheikh gave detailed briefing to members of cabinet about the outlines of RGST Bill-2010 and preconditions slapped by International Monetary Fund (IMF) in terms of bill.
Finance Minister told that the bill would be tabled in the current session of National Assembly till Friday and later it would be sent to standing committee for approval. It would be also binding on provincial assemblies to pass this bill, he pointed out.

He told that the bill would be implemented from January, 1, 2011 and its scope would be extended to tribal areas, Gilgit and Baltistan and Azad Kashmir in phases. GST subsidy would be withdrawn on all goods under new bill. The RGST would be imposed at the rate of 17 percent, he added.

On the other hand coalition partners of government including ANP, MQM and JUI-F had expressed their reservations in the meeting saying the bill had been introduced without their consultation and they could not support it with shut eyes.

“Let it come to parliament and they can apprise the standing committee of their concerns”, PM said. Passage of RGST Bill was must for the recovery of economy as the pledges made by us with the international fiscal institutions would be affected if it was not done so by us, he added.

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