Hike in excise, stamp duty proposed in Punjab’s ‘tax-free’ budget

LAHORE   -   Punjab Finance Minister Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman Thursday claimed to have presented a tax-free budget, but the fiancé bill presented in the Punjab Assembly envisages hike in excise and stamp duty, besides increase in property tax and certain fees in respect of revenue and courts.  In the statement of objects and reasons as mentioned in the finance bill, the Board of Revenue has proposed to amend the Court Fee Act for enhancement of certain fees since such fees have not been revised for a considerable time. According to the bill, the proposed changes are necessary for maintaining the equilibrium between the rates of fees and the rate of inflation.

The Board of Revenue has also proposed to amend the Stamp Act to revise the current rates of stamp duties. In the finance bill, the Excise Department intends to impose life-time token tax on vehicles for 10 years with 10 per cent depreciation in tax rate for each year to mobilize the revenue as subsequent owners do not pay the token tax.

Moreover, the token tax regime is being shifted from engine capacity to invoice base value to collect more tax from owners of high value vehicles keeping in view the great variation in prices of various model vehicles with same engine capacity.  The finance bill also proposed changes in the immoveable property tax by transitioning from a rental-based evaluation system to a capital value system.

The Mines and Mineral Development Department has proposed to amend the Excise Duty Act for enhancement in the rate of excise duty ranging from Rs 30 to Rs 50 per tonne of mineral.

The government will also amend the Punjab Sales Tax on Services Act. The proposed amendment will end litigation being faced by Punjab Revenue Authority in respect of adversity impacting the provincial revenues.

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