LAHORE - Punjab government will provide relaxation in Sales Tax on services, besides facilitating in property tax collection, extension in the entertainment duty along with reduction in tax rate in budget 2020-21 in the backdrop of covid-19 pandemic in the country.

This was decided in the 3rd and final meeting of the Ministerial committee on Resources Mobilization 2020-21 chaired by Punjab Minister for Finance Hashim Jawan Bakhat. The meeting was attended by provincial minister Irrigation Mohsin Laghari, Excise and Taxation Minister Hafiz Mumtaz, Agriculture Advisor Abdul Haiy, Secretary Finance Abdullah Sumbal, Member Board of Revenue and other officials concern.

The minister questioned the excise and taxation department officials that despite reduction in duties and taxes in Punjab why the vehicles plying on the roads in the provinces were being registered in other provinces. He asked that either the public was sensitising about this reduction of duties and taxes or not. He further instructed the excise and taxation officials to create awareness about reduction of duties and taxes on vehicles registration in the Punjab so that maximum vehicles would be registered in the province.

The Finance Minister stressed the need of bring more people and sectors in the tax net rather to put burden on the existing taxpayers. He said that existing taxpayer should not be burdened in the backdrop of covid-19 which adversely affected the economic activities. Further reviewing the tax rates for the agriculture should be made in the backdrop of the locust attack.

Member Board of Revenue apprised the meeting about the reasons and obstacles faced by the BOR in duty and taxes collection. He mentioned that non tax revenue could be increased subject to development of good taxation collection mechanism. He said the BOR was contesting cases in the court of law on encroached government land by the land grabbers, stay orders and limitation of power in the court cases. He said limited capacity of handling the court cases and burden of other official works on the tax collecting manpower was also affecting the department performance.

The meeting also discussed increased the working capacity of the BOR, excise and taxation negotiations with cinema owners, and special arrangements made for tax collection in covid-19 pandemic.

The finance minister instructed the Secretary Finance complied the recommendations of the tax agencies along with the suggestions of the resources mobilization committee should be presented in the cabinet meeting for final approval of the Chief Minister of Punjab.