PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif is reported to have asked Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif not to support the PPP-led federal govt on the topic of reformed general sales tax (Rgst).
PML-N sources said that following PM Yousaf Raza Gilani’s statements that Shahbaz Sharif had given an ‘undertaking’ to the federal govt at the current meeting of the Council of Common Interests that the Punjab government would work in the imposition of Rgst, Nawaz Sharif summoned his younger brother to Raiwind a couple of days ago and sought a clarification.
The sources quoted Shahbaz Sharif as saying that he had decided in principle to the new tax, arguing that this would not impact most of the people.
He was also quoted as saying that the cooperation would enable Punjab to get some financial concessions from the centre.
But, the sources said, Nawaz Sharif was not confident and he directed his younger brother not to lend support to the ‘anti-people’ measure because, in his view, its political cost would nullify the ‘financial concessions’ Punjab was expecting from the federation.
With PPP’s allies publicly opposing the Rgst, Prime minister Gilani had pinned hopes on PML-N’s support after receiving assurance from Shahbaz Sharif.
PML-N spokesperson Ahsan Iqbal said that the CCI meeting had reviewed the Rgst issue but it was about collection of tax on services on which Punjab and Sindh had divergent views.