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LAHORE: The Punjab government has decided to double the allocation of development budget for the agriculture alongside brining projects for improving the quality of seeds and agricultural services to boost the production.

Further, the tax rate on agricultural services is bringing down to 1 percent from 16 percent for the corporate sector in order to make the sector attractive for the investment by the corporate sector. Additionally, establishment of special zones to improve livestock breeding and eradication of foot-and-mouth disease is part of the Budget 2021-22.

This was disclosed by the Punjab Finance Minister Hashim Jawan Bakhat addressing a pre-budget seminar here at Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry Regional office. He announced extending the scope of the scope of Kisan Card to provide subsidies and other benefits to farmers. Opportunities are being created for the private sector by reducing the burden of public sector on banks, he added. Regional Chairman PFCCI Chaudhry Muhammad Saleem Bhular, MP Chaudhry Muhammad Shafiq, Mian Anjum Nisar, and representatives of trade bodies were also attended the meeting.

The minister said that the Punjab government fully support the federal government for uniformity in taxes in all the provinces. He asked the people doing agriculture must utilize the Punjab Employment Scheme for expansion of the agriculture sector. He said a committee was constituted to review the infrastructure cess and decision would be made in accordance with the recommendations made by it. However, the tax incentives given by the Punjab government during the first wave of the covid-19 pandemic will continue in the next financial year as well. He believed that the if business-friendly policies will not continue than the economy will again trap in vicious circle. Hashim claimed that current economic growth was outcome of the business-friendly policies of the federal and provincial governments. The Punjab Revenue Authority (PRA) tax collection has improved despite reduction in tax rate.

The relief given by Punjab government alongside exemptions of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) will applicable in the next budget. Further reduction in stamp duties, improvement in regulatory framework, and increase in investment in services sector will also ensure economic growth, he added.

The provincial minister informed the participants that special attention was paid to the education and health sectors in the budget for the next financial year. The delivery of services at the district level is being improved.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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