Leghari chairs resource mobilization committee’s meeting

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Provincial Finance Minister Sardar Mohsin Khan Leghari on Wednesday said that along with the construction of new infrastructure, maintenance and repair of the existing infrastructure were also necessary.

He expressed these views while presiding over the first meeting of the Resource Mobilization Committee for the financial year 2023-24 in the Finance Department here. The meeting was attended by the Secretary Finance, Secretary Excise, Member Board of Revenue, Secretary Irrigation, Chairman Punjab Revenue Authority and related departmental officers.

The minister said the government depended heavily on revenue to improve the condition of public hospitals, schools and roads. Departments should therefore ensure the widening of the tax net to increase revenue, he added.

He said that registration of vehicles plying on the roads should be made mandatory in Punjab, adding that the closure of toll plazas should be abolished. He said that Punjab Revenue Authority should prepare a negative list instead of a positive one. The inclusion of all services in the tax net would reduce the burden on taxpayers, he said and added that property tax exemption should be decided based on property value rather than area. There was no justification for exempting wealthy widows from tax. Cabinet and institutions should advise the public about the need and importance of tax money, he added.

The Finance Secretary informed about the targets set for the tax departments and the revenue details in the first quarter and added that the Punjab Revenue Authority had collected 31 per cent of the tax in the first three months of the current financial year compared to the previous year. The PRA collected Rs 14.24 billion in tax in September, which was 18 per cent more than the Rs 12.11 billion collected during the same period last year, he added.

Secretary Excise and Taxation and Member Board of Revenue briefed about the difficulties in tax collection while assuring the achievement of targets by the end of the financial year.

The minister directed the departments including Punjab Revenue Authority to improve the collection by bringing the defaulters into tax net. Address public concerns about the performance of institutions as the relationship between the people and the institutions must be improved, he added.

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