LAHORE: The Punjab Assembly on Wednesday passed the provincial budget for the next fiscal year by approving the finance bill 2019-20 without any notable resistance from the opposition whose majority remained away from the House most of the time.
The brisk session which lasted less than 40 minutes was chaired by Speaker Ch Parvez Elahi while Chief Minister Sardar Usman Khan Buzdar remained in the House till the end. Opposition Leader Hamza Shahbaz stayed in his chamber and noted opposition members also remained away, thinning the strength of the opposition legislators in the House.
The Finance Bill 2019-20 included five new services in the ambit of the Punjab Revenue Authority by levying sales tax on them ranging from 5-16 per cent whereas the government withdrew sales tax earlier proposed on intercity air conditioned passenger busses at the rate of 16 per cent. The new services included in the ambit of Punjab Revenue Authority imposing 16 per cent tax on dress designing and stitching, renting bulldozers and heavy building machinery equipment including containers, generators and refrigerators, leather textile sector, cloth treating, embroidery, knitting, leather staining, colour separation and shrinking services. The registration fee on imported vehicles was raised to equalize the rate of Islamabad and other provinces. Hajj, Umrah, international and local air travels, excluding diplomats would be levied 5 per cent tax without subjected to input adjustment.