In Pakistan, introduction of new taxes are a norm. This time, a 25% luxury tax on food restaurants has been proposed.
Sheikh Allauddin, Punjab Minister for Industries, Commerce and Investment, proposed this new tax on posh hotels and restaurants which serve food late at night – after 8pm that is, as per the rules.
Introduction of Tax on Food over Regulatory Duty
Sheikh Allaudin took a rather unique stand over this tax proposal after a huge outcry in the assembly. He says everyone in the society deserves to enjoy the food places as much, and to make the eateries so expensive that only the rich class can visit them is unjustified.
He claims a common man who works hard everyday should also be provided an equal chance to enjoy some free time, and that too at moderate prices.
Hence, a 25% luxury tax on food restaurants?!
The minister said:
We imposed regulatory duty in the larger interest of nation and it’s industry.
Perhaps, the opposition leader has reservations on the imposition of 50% regulatory duty over perfumes, lipstick, eyeliners, nail polish, face-powder, skin creams, talcum-powder and other material.
He claims it’s not a big issue and should rather be defended that a certain part of society is being forced to pay more, who extravagantly spends on weddings and arrives at the posh hotels in their expensive cars.
Hike In Vegetable Prices
There also has been a huge uproar by the opposition over rising prices of vegetables. Defending the issue, the minister claims it has become as a result of shortage of vegetables which is due to the infestation of a virus in supply of tomatoes from Balochistan.
He’s hopeful the issue will be resolved shortly as supplies from Sindh arrive. Earlier, KP was also added to the suppliers list but it was unable to meet the requirements.
Sheikh Allaudin repeatedly addressed the issue as something not to criticize the government about, rather defend the case as he considers the levied taxes to be a cause of betterment for the industry and the nation.