Govt announces incentive package for SMEs, manufacturing, housing, agri sectors

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ISLAMABAD, Jan 23 (APP):The government on Wednesday announced an incentive package to boost manufacturing and exports, encourage low-cost housing and facilitate agricultural financing to boost economic activities, besides promoting ease of doing business, simplifying procedures for setting up businesses, and cutting taxes and duties in diverse sectors.
Introducing the Finance Supplementary (Second Amendment) Bill, 2019 here in National Assembly, Minister for Finance Asad Umar said it was not a new budget but was an economic reform package aimed at laying strong foundation for the country’s economy.
He said in order to promote local industry and boost exports, import duty on hundreds of raw items used for manufacturing were being reduced or exempted.

He said it had also been proposed to reduce the tax rate on interest income on bank loans taken by Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) companies from existing 35 percent plus 4 percent supper tax to net 20 percent.
Similarly, he said, the government was committed to boost agriculture and construction sectors, as during first six months of its tenure, the agriculture loans had increased by 22 percent. It had proposed to reduce the tax rate on the interest income on agriculture loans, he added.
Likewise, the minister said, the tax rate on the interest income for loans for building small homes had been cut down to 20 percent from 39 per cent.

He said ban on purchase of small vehicles with engine capacity of up to 1300 CC for non-filers was also being withdrawn, however, tax rate for non-filers on purchase of the vehicles was being increased.