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FAISALABAD: Punjab Revenue Authority (PRA) is set to start collection of Workers Welfare Fund (WWF) as mandated under 18th amendment and after the promulgation of Punjab Workers Welfare Fund Act 2019, said Muhammad Khalid Additional Commissioner PRA Faisalabad.

Addressing an awareness session in Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FCCI), he said that all establishments in Punjab where their total income is not less than Rs 5 lac are liable to pay WWF equal to 2% of their total income to PRA.

He said that this amount would be spent on industrial workers in the form of housing facilities, marriage grants, death grants and talent scholarships/ free education to their children.

He said that PRA preferred to interact with the concerned stakeholders and give them basic information about WWF before serving them with notices. He clarified that this contribution would be recovered from November 27, 2019 when this act was promulgated. He said that PRA intends to receive this liability in a friendly atmosphere and in this connection, he has been negotiating with the concerned quarters.

Responding to a question, he said that PRA was contemplating to enhance the limit of Rs. 5 lacs to one million, however, no final decision has yet been made. He further said that the organizations working in different provinces and are already paying their contribution to FBR may provide proof of their payment and PRA would not send them any notice.

Senior Vice President FCCI Dr Sajjad Arshad said that the government should not create problems for the industrial sector so that they could fully focus on its job instead of wasting time in departmental and procedural bottlenecks. He also expressed concern that the same task was entrusted to different departments which was not only wasting tax money but also creating problems for the business community. Vice President Haji Muhammad Aslam Bhalli expressed concern over the retrospective implementation of this act and said that it is unjustified to demand contribution of the last five years. He assured that he would convince traders to pay WWF for the benefit of their workers but the department should also ensure maximum facilities to the workers.

Executive Member Muhammad Azhar Chaudhary said that this act was promulgated in 2019 but the PRA was now informing them about this contribution. He said that in the hotel industry most of the workers are daily wagers.

“Despite this fact, they are already paying their contribution towards EOBI on Social Security while a new liability has been enforced on them.”

He termed it the worst example of double taxation which may widen the gap between government departments and the business community. He said that most of the employers have closed their accounts for the last five years and now it is next to impossible for them to pay the old liabilities. He also expressed his reservation over the distribution of grants under WWF and said that this amount must be spent judiciously and transparently on their workers.

Later Vice President Haji Muhammad Aslam Bhalli offered vote of thanks while Senior Vice President Dr Sajjad Arshad presented FCCI shield to Muhammad Khalid, Additional Commissioner PRA Faisalabad.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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