LAHORE  -    Minister for Excise, Taxation and Narcotics Control Hafiz Mumtaz Ahmed has said that business community would hear good news in the upcoming Punjab budget.

Speaking at a ceremony at Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry, he said that no new taxes would be imposed. LCCI President Almas Hyder and Vice President Faheem-ur-Rehman also spoke on the occasion. Former Senior Vice President Amjad Ali Jawa, former Vice President Zeshan Khalil and Executive Committee members Mian Zahid Javed and Khalique Arshad were also present.

The minister said that a new app would be introduced in July or August and after that, people would be able to pay their excise & taxation related taxes while sitting at their offices or homes. He agreed with the LCCI President that taxation system should be simple and easy to understand to broaden the tax net. He said that good news would also be given in the upcoming budget about vehicle tax.

“We believe on consultation with the stakeholders. Revenues of government would increase when businesses flourish”, he said.

Almas Hyder said that frequency of taxes was one of the highest in the world. He said that businessmen in Punjab were paying around 150 different types of taxes. He informed the minister that LCCI was making all out efforts to improve ease of doing business ranking. “Paying taxes is one of its factors. Our government has yet to take a number of steps to bring necessary improvement in this connection.“We have proposed transforming the whole taxation system to make it user friendly particularly through automation. Likewise, it has been suggested to bring down the rates of taxes and frequency of tax payments”, he said.

He welcomed gradual introduction of e-culture by the government in most of its departments. He proposed that the mechanism of online payment should be expanded to accommodate the payment of property tax and motor vehicle tax. He pointed out the issue of charging the rental rate of property tax from the owner even after the property has been vacated from the tenants.

 

He said that the option of getting a lifetime token should be introduced for vehicles up to 1300 CC. Moreover, in order to expedite the process of sale/purchase of motor vehicles, the authorized dealers should be given the biometric facility so that the customers don’t have to visit the departments.

Faheem-ur-Rehman Saigal said that motor vehicle taxes were considerably higher in Punjab as compared to other provinces. As a result, many residents of Punjab were getting their vehicles registered from Islamabad, resulting in a sizeable loss of revenue of the provincial government. He said that staff of excise and taxation department should be directed to improve their attitude with the masses.