Revenue collection by Punjab increased 9% in the first six months of current fiscal year despite the Covid-19 relief given to industries and taxpayers, said Punjab Finance Minister Hashim Jawan Bakht.

Presiding over a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Resource Mobilisation on Wednesday, the minister noted that despite a reduction in tax rates, Punjab’s collection of sales tax on services grew 45% and receipt of motor vehicle registration fee improved 46%.

The province collected 63% of the estimated revenue in the FY21 budget from immovable property, farmhouses and luxury houses.

The Punjab Revenue Authority (PRA) received 60% of the estimated revenue, Excise and Taxation Department collected 53% and Board of Revenue got 48%.

The minister, while praising the performance of revenue departments, instructed the Excise and Taxation Department to ensure the issuance of number plates and increase in vehicle registration besides reviewing the registration fee rates.

The growth in revenue collection by the PRA and Excise and Taxation Department was positive while in the case of Board of Revenue the growth was negative. Decline in economic activity due to coronavirus affected the recovery rate.

The minister asked the Board of Revenue to improve its performance and to not miss the revenue target by the end of current fiscal year. He also directed the revenue board to improve the collection of agriculture income tax.

The minister told the Excise and Taxation Department to speed up the survey on property tax so that defaulters could be brought into the tax net in the next financial year.

Similarly, he said, the PRA should assess the impact on industries and resolve issues related to infrastructure development.

Earlier, the finance secretary apprised the meeting of the steps agreed in first three sessions of the Cabinet Committee on Resource Mobilisation and said a business model for making Wasa self-sufficient had been sent to the cabinet for approval. Under the model, the Finance Department will be able to save Rs6.2 billion.

He said approval had also been taken for the self-sufficiency model for e-service centres in Punjab.

A working group has been formed for tax reforms pertaining to immovable property. It will introduce a new model to replace the old valuation model.

A concept of benefit taxation is being introduced in local bodies to increase tax collection. The property tax collection mechanism is also being improved.

 

Published in The Express Tribune, January 21st, 2021.

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