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LAHORE: Governance reforms in Punjab have had a positive impact on tax collection targets in the most populous province of the country. Punjab has financially performed far better than the other three provinces; Balochistan, Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

A comparative study of revenue collection by the revenue authorities of all the four provinces shows that Punjab Revenue Authority (PRA) has registered the highest collection in July-December 2020. It was not only the highest collection but was more than the collection by any other revenue authority in the country. According to the data, the Punjab Revenue Authority showed 41.9 percent growth in half-yearly revenue collection in July-December 2020. It collected Rs 73 billion during July-December 2020 against a sum of Rs 52 billion collected during the same period in 2019.

The Sindh Revenue Board (SRB) showed 15.9 percent growth by collecting Rs 57 billion in July-December 2020 while Rs 49 billion were collected by it during July-December 2019. Meanwhile, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Revenue Authority (KPRA) had collected Rs 8 billion in July-December 2019 and received Rs 10 billion in July-December 2020. It showed 29.2 percent growth in revenue collection.

However, the Balochistan Revenue Authority (BRA) collected Rs 6.1 billion in July-December 2020 and was able to collect Rs 6.4 billion in July-December 2019; thus showing a -4.0 percent decline in revenue collection.

The comparative study shows that revenue authorities of PTI managed Punjab and KPK provinces have shown better performance than Sindh and Balochistan provinces. Punjab's Finance Minister Hashim Jawan Bakht has been keenly monitoring the collection targets in the province.

Furthermore, tax reforms and introduction of technology in tax collection system facilitated the common citizen while promoting ease of doing business for the corporate sector. This created a favourable environment for the people of Punjab, figures show that people today are actually willing to pay taxes as responsible citizens. Making public realise that tax collection is directly proportional to the development pace in any province - has been Punjab Government's biggest achievement for public financial management.

Sindh is the strong fiefdom of Pakistan Peoples Party and Karachi is the biggest revenue generation city in the country but it needs to report improvement that Punjab has achieved today. Sindh should be governed and led with the same interest in the greater public and national interest. However, one may acknowledge that the PTI government of Prime Minister Imran Khan has shown comparatively good performance in the difficult economic situation resulting due to sudden pandemic and continued Indian LoC violations, having multiple effects including additional stress on the economy.-PR

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021