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LAHORE: The Punjab government has constituted a 21-member committee of experts for examining and finalising resource mobilisation proposals for the government.

The committee, notification of which was issued recently by the Punjab Finance department will be headed by Mujtaba Shuja-ur-Rehman as convener while its members included Sardar Awais Ahmad Khan Leghari, Abdul Aleem Khan, Khawaja Sulman Rafique, Aamer Hayat Bhandara, Co-founder of Agriculture Republic, Dr Muhammad Ahsan Rana, Dr Ali Hasanian and Dr Ali Cheema from LUMS, Dr Shahid Amjad, Rector Lahore School of Economics, and others.

The ToRs of the committee including revision of rates of existing taxes and user fees/non-tax levies, introduction of new taxes/levies (if any), to devise the concept of preserving/restoring real value of tax/non-tax levies, indexation with inflation, shifting from flat rates to ad-valorem rates, increasing the base of existing taxes and concept of cost recovery from the provision of public services.

Enhancing operational/administrative efficiencies to reduce subsidies and the expected revenue impact of the tax/ non-tax proposals will be other assignments of this committee.

The committee had its maiden meeting the other day with Mian Mujtaba Shuja ur Rehman in the chair to initiate discussion on resource mobilization proposals to be submitted to the CM Punjab later.

Member of the committee and Co-Founder of the Agriculture Republic Aamer Hayat Bhandara while talking to Business Recorder said that he helped the committee to understand the challenges being faced by the farmers and why it was prudent not to introduce any new taxes especially on agriculture.

“Instead, we proposed to work closely with farmers to improve their yields and productivity while ensuring controlled rates for farming inputs as well as availability of natural resources to protect and ensure food security for Punjab.

It was proposed to connect all small farmers across Punjab to critical smart data powered digital agriculture to help them cope with the challenges like higher cost of production, Climate Change and poor market structure to increase agricultural productivity”, he concluded.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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