PESHAWAR: In a move which will appease small businesses and traders in the province apart from spurring economic activity, the provincial government has decided to withdraw over 100 different taxes and fees imposed on small businesses.
This was announced by Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Finance Minister Taimur Saleem Jhagra on Sunday, during a conference “K-P, The Gateway to Pakistan’s Economic Prosperity” in Peshawar. The conference had been organised by the Association of Certified Chartered Accountants Pakistan.
Jhagra said that the decision was taken as part of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s efforts to promote a business-friendly environment in the province. By eliminating these taxes, he said that it will not only provide massive relief to small traders but will also help attract investment. The provincial government has the vision to make K-P a business-friendly province of the country.
Last year, the provincial finance minister said, they had slashed taxes on services in 29 of all 58 categories. This financial year, the provincial government aims to withdraw over 100 different local government fees and taxes.
In the next fiscal budget, the provincial government will further simplify the tax regime, he added. The finance minister said the budget for the upcoming fiscal year 2020-21 of the K-P government will bear good news regarding professional tax apart from several measures to make it easier to do business and to invest.
Jhagra said that the past 15 years were painful and challenging for the province on the economic and security front. But from those ashes, it has arisen like a phoenix for business activity.
The minister also said that to provide quality education in the Newly Merged Tribal Districts (NMTDs), the provincial government has approved 4,206 new positions for teachers at schools there.
Over 3,000 young, merit-based teachers will be recruited in primary schools, Jhagra said, adding that it was the largest ever hiring of teachers in a single year in the merged districts. Jhagra said the development of NMTDs is a top priority of the government. They are specifically focused on improving the quality of education in the merged districts which shows the priority of the government, he added.
1,475 education posts in NMTDs
The provincial government aims to create as many as 1,475 positions in the education department of NMTDs. These recruitments, however, are likely to be covered under the Annual Development Programme (ADP) of the next fiscal budget.
This was disclosed by Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Elementary and Secondary Education Minister Akbar Ayub Khan while presided over a meeting to discuss challenges of the education sector in the NMTDs, a statement said on Sunday.
Ayub said that the provincial government was cognizant of the challenges of the education sector in the merged districts and they will soon announce as many as 1,475 positions for teachers in NMTDs. To bring standards of education in these areas at par with the rest of the province, the government has already created 2,717 posts for teachers.
Promising to tackle the issue of out-of-school children in NMTDs, he said that new schools are being established while vacant positions are being filled in the merged districts.
The education minister said the provincial government has decided to improve the education sector through a phase-wise strategy.
The provincial minister said all the appointments would be placed in the ADP next year and emergency measures will be taken for filling the teachers’ cadre positions while the management cadre positions will be filled as soon as possible.
He said the provincial government has allocated special funds and packages for the uplift of education and health of the NMTDs.
A special survey has also been conducted in the merged districts to address the issue of ghost teachers and closed schools.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 27th, 2020.