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Punjab budget 2018-19 will be tax free : Dr. Ayesha Ghaus

Lahore : Punjab Finance Minister Dr. Ayesha Ghaus Pasha said that the next fiscal budget for the 2018-19 will be tax free but the expansion of the tax net will remain the agenda of the provincial government, besides focusing on social sector development projects.

Chairing the maiden meeting of the resource mobilization committee for the fiscal year 2018-19 budget, the minister said budget will also focus on the development of the Punjab and selection of development projects would be made on the output of the projects and facilitate agriculture and export promotion. She said the Punjab government focused on comprehensive taxation reforms for collection of tax and non tax revenue in order to increase the indigenous resources of the province.

The meeting was co-chaired by Provincial Minister for Commerce and Industry Sheikh Alauddin and attended by MPAs Haji Ilyas Ansari, Abdul Rauf Mughal, Nadia Aziz, Secretary Livestock Naseem Sadiq, Chairman PRA Raheel Ahmed Siddique, DG Excise and Taxation Akram Ashraf Gondal, Additional Secretary Budget Rana Ubaid, Deputy Secretary Resources Faiqa and other officials concern of the provincial departments.

Dr. Ayesha Ghaus Pasha said the government was working to introduce online tax collection procedures in order to minimize the tax evasion and to increase the direct interaction with the taxpayers.

An application is being created to bring the all tax collection on a single platform to facilitate the taxpayers and end the hassle of the various offices to pay the taxes.

To implement it, recently the Punjab government has launched a Business Registration Portal for the business through which they can complete all business registration process without visiting any government office, she said.

The Minister informed the meeting that all revenue collection agencies of the Punjab achieving their targets of tax collection as a result of the reforms introduced through resource mobilization committee recommendations. Besides, it has also been promoting the positive tax culture in the Punjab, she added.

Sheikh Alaudin stressed the need of collection of vehicle token locally and highlighted reduction in revenue collection on luxury vehicles. He suggested the tax should be levied on manufacturers invoice not on the dealers invoice to stop the revenue leakages.

The PRA and Excise and Taxation departments updated the meeting about revenue collection and presented their proposal for the next fiscal year. Besides, the representatives of other departments presented the status of their non tax revenue collection.

The minister instructed the departments to eradicate the irrelevant non-tax revenue collections and accumulated the necessary non-tax revenue to make it part of online application.

The meeting has decided to finalize the implementable revenue mobilization proposal for the next budget in next meeting.

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