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- Thursday, March 22, 2012 - From Print Edition


LAHORE: Punjab government has decided to make functional the Punjab Revenue Authority (PRA) from the start of the next fiscal year, starting from July 1 2012, to collect the General Sales Tax (GST) on services.


The PRA is being created on the pattern of Sindh Board of Revenue (SBR) which has already started collection of GST on services, The News has learnt. The draft law of the PRA was already submitted to the Law Department by the Punjab Finance Department for vetting it and it is likely to be submitted to the chief minister, Punjab, in the next week for his nod.


After getting the chief minister’s approval, the PRA will be approved by the provincial cabinet and be tabled in the Provincial Assembly by mid April for its approval. The PRA will be an independent department working under the chief minister and chief secretary, Punjab, offices.


A few candidates were already short listed for interview. The interviews of the selected candidates would be conducted by the chief secretary in the next couple of days.


An official attached with all development said that candidates were short listed on the basis of their past experience in revenue generation authority to establish the PRA on the right course. He said initially the project director of PRA would be appointed for one year or establishment of organisational structure of the Authority would be completed first.


However, it is expected that the project director would be made first chairman of the PRA, he said, adding that under the chairman, four members would be working. Other structure of the PRA will be evolved by the project director himself, he said.


The share of Punjab in GST on services is almost Rs 40 billion while Sindh’s share is only Rs 12 billion. However, the SBR has fixed Rs 25 billion revenue collection target in this tune for the ongoing fiscal year 2011-12.


The Punjab has been collecting almost Rs 42 billion tax revenue through its Excise and Taxation Department and Punjab Board of Revenue (BOR) out of which Rs 16 billion is generated by Excise and Taxation Department and Rs 26 billion by the BOR.


However, the component GST on services in the FBR revenue generation is much smaller so thus less importance is given to it as compared to the provincial governments where it is a major source of revenue, said an official of the Punjab Finance Department.