Renowned singer and humanitarian Shehzad Roy. — UNODC/File

Renowned singer and humanitarian Shehzad Roy has requested the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)-led government to retract the 10% sales tax imposed on books in the Budget 2024-25.

In a X post on Monday, the philanthropist informed that he spoke with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal to also sought reinstatement of the 25% tax rebate for teachers.

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

Shehzad Roy urges PM Shehbaz to retract sales tax on books

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) for the year starting July 1, a nearly 40% jump from the current year, in its budget that looked to strengthen the case for a new bailout deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The ambitious revenue targets for the fiscal year through June 2025, presented by Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb in parliament on June 12, were in line with analyst expectations. Total spending was Rs18.87 trillion ($68 billion).

Key objectives for the upcoming fiscal year include bringing the public debt-to-GDP ratio to sustainable levels and prioritising improvements in Pakistan’s balance of payments position, the government’s budget document showed.

The government has projected a sharp drop in its fiscal deficit for the new financial year to 5.9% of the GDP, from an upwardly revised estimate of 7.4% for the current year.

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