Pakistani singer, guitarist and social activist gestures for a photograph. — Facebook/Shehzad Roy/File

Pakistani singer and social activist Shehzad Roy has expressed gratitude to the Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb for removing sales taxes from books in the federal Budget 2024-25, Geo News reported on Tuesday. 

“Speaking up makes a difference. Earlier, it (speaking up) was feared, however, now it is fearful if (we) don’t speak,” the social activist said regarding his efforts in the field of education and request to the government authorities.

He also added: “We all should speak up and raise our voices.”

A day earlier, Roy said that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had assured him that the decision of imposing a 10% sales tax on books in the federal budget 2024-25 will be reviewed.

In addition to removal of taxes on books, he demanded the government to maintain the restoration of tax rebate for teachers.

Taking to X, formerly known as Twitter, the singer-turned-social activist on Monday stated that he had also made an appeal to the premier and Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal to restore the 25% tax rebate for teachers.

“They both reassured me that they will reconsider this decision with a favo[u]rable outcome,” Roy wrote.

The finance minister informed the National Assembly earlier today that stationery items would remain exempted from taxes.

For the year starting from July 1, the federal government led by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has set a challenging tax revenue target of Rs13 trillion (approximately $46.66 billion).

This is a nearly 40% jump from the current year as this budget aims to strengthen the case for a new bailout deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).



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