The Government of Pakistan has announced an increase in the General Sales Tax (GST) on all packaged items to 18%.
The move is part of the government’s efforts to increase revenue and reduce the budget deficit.
The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) issued a notification on Wednesday, following which the implication of GST will be effective immediately.
The new notification will apply to a range of products, including edible oil, ghee, biscuits, spices, jam, jelly, noodles, toys, chocolates, and coffees falling under the category of packed items.
Additionally, make-up products, shaving foam, gel, cream, blades, shampoo, cream, lotion, soap, and toothpaste will also become more expensive.
The increase in the GST percentage will also affect the prices of electronic items, such as TV, LED, LCD, smartphones, iPods, computers, laptops, and gadgets, juicers, blenders, shakers, and other electronic items.
Economists predict that a 1% increase in the GST rate will put a burden of more than Rs50 billion on the Pakistani population.
The government’s decision to increase GST has sparked concerns among consumers and business owners who fear that the move will further increase the cost of living and reduce the purchasing power of the middle and lower-income groups.