ISLAMABAD - While the PTI’s government has planned to take back tax concession from the salaried class, the opposition parties in the parliament can once again join hands to stop the move.

The ‘grand opposition alliance’, which was earlier formed to demand a probe into rigging in the elections 2018, can once again join their hands to oppose the incumbent government’s move in its upcoming mini-budget proposal.

The PTI-led federal government is planning to amend the finance bill 2008-09 to generate additional revenue and slashing down the development.

The present government had already termed the annual budget for ongoing financial year ‘unrealistic’. The legislation in shape of amendment is expected in the upcoming session of the National Assembly summoned on Tuesday (18 September).

The government through an amendment would withdraw the tax concessions for the salaried class as approved by the parliament in PML-N government.

As the previous government had introduced a tax exemption for annual income up to Rs1.2 million, the present government will try to reduce the slab from Rs1.2 million to Rs0.8 million.

Talking to The Nation, former minister for Ahsan Iqbal for Planning and development /central leader of PML-N termed the PTI’s government move against the salaried class. “Is this a relief which was promised by PTI in its election campaign,” Iqbal commented while mentioning that government should not deprive salaried class of it. He hinted to jointly raise the matter in the upcoming National Assembly session.

When contacted, PPP-P’s lawmaker Shazia Marri said the opposition was united over the issue of rigging in the election 2018. “This opposition can further expand on other issues as well,” said Marri.

She strongly opposed the expected move to deprive salaried class of tax concession. “This proposed amendment to withdraw tax is simply contradiction of the PTI’s claim to provide relief to the masses,” said PPP-P’s MNA, mentioning this amendment would be the first ‘gift’ for the salaried class by the PTI’s government in its ‘honeymoon period’ as they would be deprived of concession.

She said that the opposition would surely oppose this move in the upcoming NA session when this expected amendment would be presented by treasury benches.

The FBR had reportedly estimated that aforementioned concession had caused Rs100 billion revenue shortfall for the national exchequer.

“The decision of previous government to reduce income tax rates was a political one without taking account of economic considerations,” said an official of the FBR.

The present government is also reportedly considering to propose imposition of one per cent regulatory duty on all imported items.

On the other hand, the government is planning to cut the development budget massively. The Planning Division was told in written to stop releasing funds to unapproved projects with less than 20 per cent expenditure.