Punjab budget: FCCI works on proposals with tax concerns in focus

Government says suggestions will be considered before finalising budget.

Imran Rana May 30, 2014
"We are introducing branchless banking to enable people to pay taxes and duties while sitting in their homes or workplaces," Punjab Excise and Taxation Secretary Khalid Masood Chaudhry. CREATIVE COMMONS

FAISALABAD: The Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) has constituted a special committee, headed by the chamber’s president, to prepare proposals for the Punjab budget for 2014-15 and the body will finalise and submit its recommendations in the next couple of days.

Punjab Excise and Taxation Secretary Khalid Masood Chaudhry stated this while talking to a large gathering of industrialists here on Friday.

Stressing that all stakeholders would be taken on board, Chaudhry assured the business leaders that their problems would be considered before finalising the budget.

“Businessmen will not be harassed during tax collection and their recommendations will be given due consideration in budget formulation,” he said.

He asked the excise and taxation director to take action against corrupt staff of the department. The general excise and taxation director had already visited Faisalabad and he would be asked to come here again to address issues in consultation with the elected representatives, he said.

Earlier, while highlighting the studies conducted for resource mobilisation, Chaudhry suggested a couple of options pertaining to income from property tax. However, he added, a final decision would be taken after consultation with the business community.

The share of motor vehicle tax in Punjab’s budget is 54% and that of property tax is 28%.

According to Chaudhry, different heads of taxes, which produced just a petty amount, have been withdrawn. A transparent, fair and computerised system is being introduced for tax collection and necessary data of property tax and other duties would be uploaded on the website of Excise and Taxation Department.

“We are also introducing branchless banking to enable people to pay taxes and duties while sitting in their homes or workplaces,” he remarked.

MNA Mian Abdul Manan assured the businessmen that no notices for the collection of professional tax would be issued in future as it was tantamount to double taxation.

He rejected the previous property tax survey, saying property categories would be redefined after taking input of the stakeholders.

Speaking on the occasion, FCCI President Engineer Suhail Bin Rashid suggested that instead of increasing the tax rate, the Punjab government should broaden the tax net for resource mobilisation.

He expressed concern over the notices sent to sick industrial units for the recovery of social security contribution. “This contribution should be linked with the revival of sick units.”

Published in The Express Tribune, May 31st, 2014.

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