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Rs 55.81 million entertainment tax collected in 2009-2011: Sindh Assembly informed

The Sindh government has collected Rs 55.810 million of entertainment tax during 2009-2011, but no such tax is collected from cinemas since September 2005, the Sindh Excise and Taxation Minister, Mukesh Kumar Chawla told the Sindh Assembly on Tuesday.

These taxes are collected from amusement park, dramas/musical shows, exhibitions, meals/circus and sports events, the minister said during the question-answer session of the assembly, adding Karachi outnumbered the tax collection with Rs 52.671 million during July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2011.

Share in the entertainment tax by other areas of the province including Hyderabad Rs 2, 690,000, Mirpurkhas Rs 85, 000, Sukkur Rs 2, 49, 000, and Larkana Rs 70, 000, he added. Collection of property tax during 2009-2011, he said, it was Rs 2524, 222 million from Karachi, Rs 104.96 million from Hyderabad region, Rs 62.524 million from Sukkur region, Rs 31.206 million from Larkana region and Rs 24.126 million.

To a question, he said, his department had received no complaints regarding the increase of drug menace in Shikarpur district, but Larkana directorate detected the 270 kg of Charas there. He told the house that 2,71, 803 vehicles registered during November 2010 to June 2011 Karachi with 1,72, 260 vehicles, Hyderabad 36, 510, Mirpurkhas 10, 963, Larkana 9, 100 and Sukkur 42, 970.

He further said that motor vehicle tax collection during the same period was Rs 453.457 million with Karachi Rs 1, 63.221 million, Hyderabad Rs 139.502 million, Mirpurkhas Rs 41.560 million, Larkana Rs 13.757 million and Sukkur Rs 95.417 million. Chawla however denied the seizing of synthetic psychotropic drug in Karachi on March 28, 2011. On the private members day, a woman provincial legislator, Nusrat Bano Sehar Abbasi tabled a resolution about the unchecked honour killings in the province and non-arrest of the perpetrators.

With her resolution approval, she had just started her speech to advocate her move, the murmuring in the house began to echo, and above that the PPP legislator, Rafiq Eng. stood and opposed it, saying the provincial assembly do not have powers to approve such attempts as the law says it is the federal government's legal jurisdiction.

Though, she did not agree, continued speech in high-pitch voice for the noise of members in the house literally made her unheard. She requested the chairman to silence the house so that the important matter can be at least discussed, but failed to express her opinion as Rafiq Eng. continued to intervene even so he loudly disdained her by saying "Chilla Chille" referring to her voice was too high-pitch.

Thus, a fight of words began; the female member said, "it is not a way to speak", asking him to explain what his phrase meant for. However Rafiq could not explain rather confined him to saying that it was an Urdu word for shouting. The house turned into a fish market within a few moments.

Later, senior Sindh Minister for Education, Pir Mazhar-ul-Haq apologised to her on behalf of the house for the unbecoming attitude of Rafiq Eng, saying she had raised an important issue which should be heard seriously in the house. Sindh Home Minister Manzoor Wasan, Syed Sardar Ahmed and other also supported Abbasi for her views debated on the issue in rather detailed way.

Sardar Ahmed made it clear that any case of murder according to the law is seen a crime under section 302, irrespective of its nature of being honour killing, saying system has flaws and the law itself. He said police "must" file a case of honour killing against the murders according to the law. Abbasi said around 43 women have become victims of honour killing alone in the Sindh province during December, whereas total numbers of the killed women were 557 during this year. She showed concerns over the non-arrest or filing of a murder case against the murderers, saying nearly all of them were free at large.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2011