Karachi - The Sindh Assembly on Monday unanimously adopted a bill to enhance agriculture tax slab in the province and bring it on a par with the provision of Income Tax Amendment Ordinance 2018.

The bill was tabled by Sindh Minister for Law Ziaul Hassan Lanjhar and was unanimously adopted by the house.

The house amended the Sindh Land Tax and Agriculture Income Tax Ordinance 2000 and brought a new schedule of tax on agriculture income tax under it.

As per the new tax schedule, there would be no tax on agriculture income up to Rs1.2 million, while five percent tax would be levied on income ranging from Rs1.2 million to Rs2.4 million.

Those generating income from agriculture exceeding Rs2.4 million and up to Rs4.8 million would have to pay Rs60,000 and 10 percent on the amount exceeding Rs2.4 million.

Similarly, if the income from agriculture exceeds Rs4.8 million then an amount of Rs300,000 would have to be paid along with 15 percent on the amount exceeding Rs4.8 million.

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The house passed two other bills unanimously, including Karachi Development Authority Amendment Bill 2018 and Sindh Development and Maintenance of Infrastructure Cess (Amendment) Bill, 2017. The bills were tabled by Sindh Law Minister Ziaul Hassan Lanjhar.

The Karachi Development Authority bill was aimed at allowing the provincial government to convert the status of amenity plots to utilize them for public importance or mass transit projects.

MQM-P lawmaker Syed Sardar Ahmed called for sending the bill to the standing committee as the amenity pots were recently recovered from the land mafia and therefore changing their status would have a great impact. He said a clarification was need from the government on utilization of these plots.

The law minister said that plots would be used for the purpose of public importance mainly for the bus rapid transport system.

The house later passed the bill with amendments that said the bill would only be applicable to two amenity plots in Sector 4 of Surjani Town and KDA ground near Numaish.

The house also passed an amendment to the Sindh Development and Maintenance of Infrastructure Cess Bill 2017 aimed at repealing the provisions of section 9 of the Sindh Finance Act 1994 after section 18 in the cess bill.

Responding to a call attention notice from MQM-P lawmaker Kamran Akhter on showing low population in Karachi in the latest census held in the country, the minister for law said that people of the province have now understood the politics on the basis of linguistics and would not be trapped again in these old tactics.

“Where were they before when the process took place and PPP raised this issue,” he taunted the MQM-P lawmaker and said the process was conducted by the federal government and PPP leadership could not be blamed for it.

Kamran said that hue and cry was raised over lowering the gas quota as it affected the business of Anwar Majeed, who is considered close to Asif Ali Zardari, but no voice was raised on counting the Karachi far below than it was.

The minister said that PPP was everywhere in the province and last night show of the party in Liaquatabad was a proof of it.

On a notice over water shortage in the province from PML-N lawmaker Ameer Haider Shah Sheerazi, the law minister said the federal government was run by the lawmaker’s party and he should ask as to why the Punjab province was getting water and Sindh is deprived of its due share. “We are helpless against the federal government and the province is facing 60 percent water shortage,” the minister said.

Also, two MQM-P lawmakers on Monday claimed that they were receiving threatening messages. MQM-P lawmaker Sabir Qaimkhani said that he had received a message directing him to provide the desired amount. He said the message sender threatened to kill him and his family if he does not comply with the order.

MQM-P lawmaker Kamran Akhter said that he had received threatening message from banned outfit Lashkar-e-Jhangvi.

The law minister demanded that the speaker expunge his remarks during the assembly proceedings that he was chewing gutka during the sitting.

“I have never eaten this and the remarks are creating embarrassment for me,” he said. The speaker, however, claimed that he never used such words for the lawmaker so no question arises for expunging the words.

The house proceedings were later prorogued and the speaker read out the message from the governor of Sindh.