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Tax Recovery in Punjab Remained Better Than Other Provinces Despite Covid Relief: Bakht

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LAHORE– Punjab Finance Minister Makhdoom Hashim Jawan Bakht has said that the tax recovery rate in Punjab was better than other province despite the huge tax relief on Corona-affected businesses were given in the current financial year.

The minister presiding over a performance review meeting of Punjab Revenue Authority (PRA) appreciated the Authority’s excellent performance and business-friendly policies which played an important role in increasing the number of taxpayers and restoring public confidence.

The Punjab Revenue Authority has collected Rs 73.4 billion in taxes on the provision of services since July 2020. An increase in the number of taxpayers is being ensured for further improvement in collections. For the convenience of filers, special disks have been set up in all operational offices and chambers of commerce and industries where trained officers and businessmen are being provided all kinds of tax guidance.

The helpline is being improved and the monitoring system is being made more efficient for immediate redressal of grievances. Apart from conducting workshops for training of various departments and holding agents, professional guidance services are also being provided to the students completing their studies in universities.

The minister was informed Punjab Revenue Authority was also introducing an application called TelPRA under which the taxpayers would be in constant touch with the agency through their complaints and suggestions. The application will help improve the system of taxpayer registration and tax collection.

The minister directed the PRA to review other common methods for recovery of Workers Welfare Fund and comparative measures of the efficiency of tax collection agencies in the four provinces and measures to facilitate payments to determine the best policy.

He also stressed the need to review the existing mechanism for improving the PRA helpline and to identify nominees for agricultural income tax with the help of the Board of Revenue. Earlier, Chairman PRA Zainal Abidin Sahi informed the participants of the meeting that the Punjab Revenue Authority was holding talks before taking legal action to ensure the inclusion of long-standing defaulters in the tax net policy.

Alternative ways of resolving disputes are being pursued. In this regard, the Authority is ensuring effective liaison with all stakeholders. A board has been set up with the help of which the delivery of the broadcast message to those who do not file returns is also being initiated.

Partnerships with SNG, LIMS and Harvard University are also being implemented for further improvement in the tax system. Other participants of the meeting held at Zoom Link included Secretary Finance Abdullah Sumbal, Chief Minister Special Monitoring Unit Chief Fazil Asif, Member Planning and Development and other concerned officers.— HANDOUT