Salt manufacturers have demanded that the government remove salt from the tax regime because it is an essential food item.
Salt Manufacturers Association Pakistan (SMAP) President Ismail Suttar urged Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin to reconsider the proposed tax on salt because it was an essential food item.
Moreover, He said that businessman who produced iodized salt from table salt has to pay sales tax and it would also reflect the retail price of iodized salt.
Suttar pointed out that table salt was made from raw sea salt and iodized salt was made by adding iodine to table salt.
The law prohibits the sale of table salt and only allows iodized salt for food purposes.
Therefore, raw salt, if taxed, will increase the cost of iodized salt and will be a burden to the common man. Therefore, “raw salt should be exempt from the sales tax regime,” he said.
“However, the federal government can charge GST on all types of salt in an appropriate manner, that is, no more than 5-6%, so that the government receives revenue and the tax burden is shared by all companies, which they are in the salt business because, in the past, we observed that the exemption was used for personal benefit”.
But, the salt that would be used and supplied as industrial salt could remain taxable because it would not affect the common man, Suttar added.
Earlier in the week, the finance minister gave a supplementary budget speech to the National Assembly, where he announced several incentives for small businesses, which included Rs100 billion in loans to be provided to the SME sector with a 9% increase.