Islamabad: The Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) crashed shortly after Shehbaz Sharif's government announced a 10 per cent tax on large-scale industries, a measure he promised will help save the country from bankruptcy.

At 11:40 am (local time), the market witnessed a steep dip with the KSE-100 losing 1,598 points and sinking to 41,100, the Dawn newspaper reported. The benchmark KSE-100 index was down 2,053 points At 12pm.

As per the PSX rules, if the index goes five per cent above or below its last close and stays there for five minutes, trading in all securities is halted for a short period.

Raza Jafri, the Intermarket Securities' head of equities blamed "massive taxes" as the reason behind the drop. "The market has reacted very negatively because it will severely hurt corporate profitability," he told Dawn.

The Pakistan Prime Minister today said that his government plans to impose a 10 per cent super tax on large-scale industries, and that "tough decisions" have been taken to protect the country's economy.

He announced the imposition of a super tax on cement, steel, sugar, oil and gas, fertiliser, banking, textile, chemical, beverage, and automobile industries.

"A 1 per cent tax has been imposed on people earning over PKR 150 million, 2 per cent on those earning over PKR 200 million, 3per cent on those earning over PKR 250 million and 4 per cent on those earning over PKR 300 million," he said.

He termed this measure as "tough decisions" in line with the federal budget for the next fiscal year 2022-23.

"I want to brief the people about those decisions and the actual [economic] situation of the country," Shehbaz was quoted as saying by Geo News.

"Our first motive is to provide relief to the masses and to reduce the burden of inflation on the people and facilitate them," he said. "Our second motive is to protect the country from going bankrupt," he added.

Explaining the motives of his government for the super tax, he laid stress on the need to stabilise the economy of Pakistan. "These aren't just words, this is the voice of my heart and InshaAllah we will be able to achieve all these targets," he emphasised.