Government of Pakistan has presented Budget for Financial year 201 8-19 in the National Assembly on the afternoon of April 27, 2018. 

Provisions of Income Tax Amendment Ordinance, issued by the President of Pakistan on April 5, 2018 have been incorporated in the Budget Proposals for financial year 20 18-19 especially reduction of tax rates for individuals which is highly appreciable because that acts as an economic incentive for advancement of industrial and trade activities. But bringing down of minimum taxable income to Rs. 4,00,000/- (as already existing for tax year 2017) from Rs. 12,00,000/- fixed in the Income Tax Amendment Ordinance 2018 is unrealistic in view of the prevalent high cost of living in which a 5 marla single storey house is not available on rent below Rs. 20,000/-per month. 

It should be maintained at Rs. 12,00,000/- as fixed in the Income Tax Amendment Ordinance above referred to. Similarly, provision regarding reduction of Tax payable to 50% of the tax as per the relevant Table of Tax Rates applicable to senior citizens (individuals above the age of 60 years) having income up to Rs. 10,00,000/- only, needs to be amended so as to apply to senior citizens with income up to Rs. 24,00,000/- 

Provisions regarding deduction of tax at source also need to be abolished because they are against the provisions of Article ii of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan in that forcing payers to deduct tax at the time of payment, deposit the same into Government Treasury and submit statements to the Government at regular intervals (monthly, quarterly and yearly) amounts to forced labor which is prohibited by the above mentioned Constitutional provision. 

LATIF AHMAD QURESHI, 

Lahore, May 5.