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LAHORE: Chairman Punjab Revenue Authority (PRA) Zain ul Abidin Sahi on Thursday said the National Tax Council is working on uniform sales tax among all provinces as this would help business community in many ways.

The government is well aware of the challenges being faced by businessmen, therefore it is taking all possible measures to ensure the ease of doing business, PRA Chairman stated this while speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

He said the government has already reduced the sales tax on more than 20 services and have planned to include more services in tax free regime. He said that the PRA is a most automated organization since its inception and have started e-payment years ago. Earlier, the Chairman PRA inaugurated the PRA help desk at LCCI. He said the services being provided in LCCI under the 'One window Smart Services' are excellent and good example for other departments. He said that PRA's focal person will be available at LCCI help desk to coordinate with business community for resolution of their issues related to PRA. He stressed upon the need of more coordination with business community especially with the Lahore Chamber and asked the LCCI office bearers to nominate a 3 to 4 members coordination body who will remain in continuous liaison with the PRA. This body will act as a bridge between LCCI and PRA and the communication gap will be reduced, he added.

Speaking on the occasion, LCCI President Iqbal Sheikh appreciated the PRA steps of reducing the Sales Tax rate on majority of services (like marriage halls, caterers, tour operators, IT Service Providers, Property Dealers, small hotels, motels and guest houses) from 16 percent to 5 percent and hoped that this measure will help to enhance the Revenues of various service oriented sectors in our provincial economy that have been adversely affected in the recent months.

He said there is a dire need of harmonization among the provincial and federal tax collecting agencies. For example, if a service provider is resident in Punjab, and the service delivery to a service recipient is in Sindh, then the service provider is required to deposit sales tax with PRA. However, He said, the service recipient still remains liable to sales tax recovery by Sindh Revenue Board (SRB) under Sindh Sales Tax Services Act 2011, and vice versa. In this regard, provincial revenue authorities should agree on jurisdictions and common rules. Issues of 'origin' and 'consumption' on services should also be clarified.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020