On Tuesday, the federal cabinet led by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif approved the imposition of a 25 per cent sales tax on luxury items, fulfilling a condition set by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for the revival of the $7 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF) that had been stalled for months.

The cabinet approved the 25 per cent general sales tax (GST) on luxury items through a circulation summary. The Federal Board of Revenue will issue a formal notification in the coming days, and the new rate will be applicable from March 1.

The list of items subject to the 25 per cent GST includes aerated water and juices, imported cars, mobile phones, pet food, sanitary and bathroom wares, carpets (excluding Afghanistan), chandeliers and lighting devices or equipment, chocolates, cigarettes, confectionery items, corn flakes, cosmetics, shaving items, tissue papers, crockery, decorative devices, doors and window frames, fish, footwear, fruits and dry fruits, furniture, home appliances (CBU), luxury leather jackets and apparel, mattress and sleeping bags, frozen or processed meat, musical instruments, arms and ammunition, shampoos, sunglasses, tomato ketchup and sauces, and travel bags and suitcases.


The federal government also imposed a 25 per cent GST rate on locally manufactured luxury vehicles of 1,400cc and above. The FBR has estimated that it will collect an additional Rs15 billion in taxes through the enhanced GST rate of 25 per cent in the four-month period.

According to sources, Pakistan and IMF held virtual negotiations on Monday to revive the loan program that had been stalled for months. During the meeting, the lender expressed satisfaction with the country’s measures, while Pakistan insisted on early finalization of the staff-level agreement.


The negotiations were moving positively as the Fund did not place any new demands during the virtual session. The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) informed IMF representatives about the estimated collection of foreign exchange reserves of $10 billion until June, and sources claimed that Pakistan had achieved future targets before the staff-level agreement.

It is worth mentioning that the government has expedited the implementation of IMF demands to unlock the loan tranche for the country’s economic recovery.