KARACHI: FPCCI’s United Business Group (UBG) on Tuesday lauded Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif for reducing sales tax on 11 sectors by 14 percent, terming it a great move in the right direction.
The chief minister has taken the revolutionary step after consultation with the trade associations concerned, which must be lauded and followed by the other provinces. The decision will not reduce the revenue projected to be Rs72 billion but increase it due to voluntary compliance, said Chairman UBG Iftikhar Ali Malik, Patron-in-Chief SM Muneer, Central Spokesman Zubair Tufail and Chief Coordinator Malik Sohail.
In a joint statement issued here today, they said that Punjab had imposed 16 percent GST on 11 undocumented service sectors one and a half years back which has now been reduced. These sectors include laundries, drycleaners, fitness clubs, beauty salons, hair cutting saloons, beauty shops, hotels, motels, guest houses, shopping plazas, travel agents, accountants, auditors, tax consultants, workshops, showrooms, car dealers, property dealers and developers etc.
The UBG leaders also asked the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to waive 19.5 percent tax on broadband services and mobile internet as it is discouraging the spread of internet which is essential for development.
KP holds 10.5 percent share in national GDP while share of internet subscribers in 12 percent of the national average which must not be discouraged. Internet penetration can benefit sectors like education, e-commerce,-e-learning, e-health and small businesses therefore the provincial government should reconsider the decision, they demanded. Telecom industry is already paying 40 percent taxes and additional tax on broadband and mobile internet can hit the pace of development of the province affected by militancy, they warned.