ISLAMABAD-A parliamentary committee on Monday has recommended the government to increase the salaries of civil servants by 10 percent in order to give them relief.

The Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue, which met under the chair of Senator Farooq H Naik, has recommended the government to increase the salaries of civil servants Pakistan has approved a recommendation for an increase in salaries of government employees.

The incumbent government in budget for 2020-21 has not increased the salaries and pensions due to the financial constraints. However, the upper house of the parliament has recommended the government to increase salaries by ten percent. It is not binding for the government to accept the budget recommendations of the Senate.

The committee has also recommended the government to increase the Federal Excise Duty (FED) on cigarettes. The government has proposed to impose higher taxes on expensive cigarettes and lesser taxes on cheap cigarettes. The committee has also recommended increasing the budget allocation to control locust attack in the country.

It has proposed the government to allocate Rs8 billion instead of only Rs4 billion for controlling the locust attack in different parts of the country. It has also asked the government to allocate Rs75 billion for subsidy on fertilizers to help the farmers. The Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue has recommended the government to review the measures, which are proposed to achieve the tax collection target of Rs4.963 trillion for the next fiscal year.

The committee members were of the view that government had set unrealistic tax collection target for the year 2020-21. However, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) said hoped that government would achieve the proposed tax collection target. However, the officials informed that things would clear after COVID-19 situation. The FBR’s officials informed the committee that government would achieve Rs3.9 trillion during ongoing fiscal year. The Covid-19 has resulted in tax collection shortfall by Rs800 billion.

They further informed that government has set first quarter (July to September)’s tax collection target by Rs960 billion. Meanwhile, the PML-N senator Kulsoom Parveen demanded to remove tax levy on school fees. “Tax should be imposed on those who are paying more than Rs200,000 school fees yearly”.

The FBR’s officials informed that government has reduced the FED on cement in the budget for the next fiscal year. The government has recommended to reduce the FED on cement bag to Rs88 from Rs100,which would result in tax collection shortfall of Rs15 billion.