» » » » » ‘Telecom service providers are development partners of Punjab govt’ : said Dr Ayesha Ghaus Pasha

LAHORE: Provincial Finance Minister Dr Ayesha Ghaus Pasha said on Friday that telecommunication service providers were development partners of the Punjab government and an important source of sales tax.

Talking to heads of telecommunication service providers here at Civil Secretariat, she said that some of the social sector facilities were the result of taxes collected from this sector. ” The Punjab government is ready to provide every possible cooperation to telecommunication sector but timely provision of taxes is the responsibility of all service providers and it is also a step towards maintaining good governance,” she added.

Punjab Revenue Authority (PRA) Chairman Raheel Ahmed Siddiqui, Additional Secretary Finance Rana Obaid, Special Member Tax Abdul Rehman Warraich as well as representatives of different cellular companies attended the meeting.

The minister was of the view that mobile telephone and internet services had become an integral part of daily life, and special remission given on sales tax of internet services had helped to improve growth rate along with business growth of telecommunication sector. In this regard, the government related responsibilities of telecommunication service providers had also been increased.

She impressed upon the heads of telecommunication service providers to play their role as an important stakeholder instead of considering the tax as a burden and present feasible proposals for enhancing the provincial resources.

Telenor CEO Irfan Khan highlighted the impacts and possible remission of taxes imposed on telecommunication services and said that increase in investment by telecommunication service providers would be possible in case of receiving of equal taxes imposed on other services.

Other members also presented their proposals for enhancing the provincial resources.

The minister asked them to present their proposals in black and white and directed the Punjab Revenue Authority and Finance Department to review the proposals put forth by the telecommunication service providers.

These proposals, she added, should be presented before resource management committee so that policy could be constituted before the upcoming provincial budget.

Earlier, the minister presided over another meeting of resource mobilization committee and directed the tax collecting departments ,including the Punjab Revenue Authority, to solve problems of traders on priority basis. The demands which could be made part of Finance Bill should be presented before the committee and the demands which related to the administration should be solved at the earliest.

She said that opportunities should be created for encouraging investment and unemployment could be overcome.

The meeting discussed the proposals forwarded by different departments for resource mobilization.

On this occasion, Provincial Industries Minister Sheikh Allah Uddin proposed that tax should not be imposed on such services which were used by the middle class and a source of employment for the students.

The committee stressed the need to impose unified tax on all services and instead of imposing new tax, recommended review of tariff of already imposed taxes. The Board of Revenue was directed to submit its proposals before the budget along with removal of obstacles in collecting taxes. APP

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