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Sindh’s quarterly tax collection jumps 36pc

KARACHI: Sindh government’s tax revenue jumped 36 per cent year-on-year to Rs11.932 billion during the July-September quarter on the back of increase in rates of some of the taxes in the latest budget as well as measures to boost recovery.

Revenue from infrastructure cess charged on imports landing in Karachi by sea and air swelled 49pc to Rs8.776bn in the quarter due to rise in imports with the beginning of the current fiscal year.

Registration of vehicles, the second highest revenue spinner for the Sindh government, stood at Rs1.3bn, an increase of 7pc from the previous year. Growth in revenue from this particular head remained limited due to excessive rates of withholding tax levied by the Federal Board of Revenue on registration of vehicles and road tax.

Despite closure of several excise checkpoints along the highways, there was a sizeable increase of 35pc in revenue from excise duty as the collection jumped 36pc to Rs997m. The growth has been attributed to revenue generated from renewal of licence fee by a number of liquor shops and permits for importing spirit and other prohibited chemicals used in medicines.

Collection from property tax rose 19pc to Rs784m during the quarter.

Professional tax fetched a mere Rs155m during the period compared to Rs142m a year earlier. The growth remained stunted as a large number of businesses are still out of the tax net.

The excise and taxation (E&T) department is pinning its hopes on a comprehensive survey to be conducted with the help of World Bank this year.

The only decline of 11pc in revenue was reported from cotton fee which dropped to Rs32m against Rs36m last year. E&T sources said revenue from cotton fee fluctuates with the condition of the crop.

Recovery from entertainment duty at Rs13m did not show any sign of improvement as no serious effort was made to tap new sources of entertainment. Cinema tickets are still exempt from entertainment duty as a proposal to charge duty on movie tickets was rejected in the budget.

The E&T has planned a link-up with computer network of the National Database and Registration Authority to verify national identity cards of vehicle owners when they come for registration. The move is aimed at bringing transparency to the ownership of vehicles which would help in detecting the right owner of a vehicle used in subversive activity.

Moreover, new tax buildings in five districts of the southern Sindh will be built to boost tax recovery. The new offices will provide one-window facility for payment of all provincial taxes.

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