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LAHORE: Punjab Finance Minister Hashim Jawan Bakhat has said that there was no logical justification for tax exemption on five marla properties; "the property tax should be imposed on the valuation of the property and there was a need for revisiting the Property Act 1958 to improve the property taxation system in Punjab".

The Minister expressed these views while chairing a meeting of the Resources Mobilization Committee here on Tuesday. The meeting was attended by Punjab Excise and Taxation Minister Hafiz Mumtaz Ahmed, Punjab Revenue Minister Malik Anwar, Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid, Punjab Irrigation Minister Mohsin Laghari, Punjab Finance Secretary Abdullah Sumbal, Punjab Revenue Authority (PRA) Chairman ZainulAbidain Sahi and official of the concern departments.

While addressing the meeting, the Minister suggested linking the municipal services with property taxation, as improvement in water, sanitation and waste management services will increase the value of the property. He said that the Punjab government wants profitable taxation system in the province and added that in order to increase the tax collection and revenue generation, they are considering bringing down the tax rate.

He observed that the government was making revolutionary reforms to strengthen the local governments in Punjab by increasing their resources and powers. "It is a golden opportunity for the local government to increase its revenue by improving the water and sanitation facilities, waste management services and other municipal services," he added.

He made it clear that revenue collected by the excise department and other agencies would be allocated to the local government in the future.

The meeting reviewed the proposal of the excise and taxation department on immoveable urban areas properties and recommended consulting with PRA and local government department. It also approved the existing valuation table for property taxation till June 2021 and expanded remission threshold to 100 percent from 90 percent.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020