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KP sets Rs6b target for sales tax on services

PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has set Rs6 billion target for the collection of sales tax on services for the current financial year and vowed to strictly check corruption and evasion in the collection process.

Speaking to a select group of journalists, advisor to the chief minister on Excise and Taxation Jamsheduddin Kakakhel and Secretary Excise and Taxation Dr Raheel Ahmed Siddiqui on Thursday said the provincial government had collected Rs4.94 billion on account of sales tax on services to date, while for the current financial year its recently established Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Revenue Authority (KPRA) and had set the target of Rs6 billion which would be met.

Briefing newsmen on the establishment and working of the KPRA, Dr Raheel Ahmed Siddiqui said all arrangements and data sharing with the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) for the collection of the Sales Tax on services had been completed and around 685 potential taxpayers had also been inserted into the Master Index of the KPRA. “The process of compulsory registration of other potential taxpayers has also been embarked upon in the province,” he added.

Raheel Siddiqui, who is also director general of the KPRA, said as the Authority was still evolving in terms of staff acquiring, electronic and physical notices had been sent to the potential taxpayers.

However, he admitted that some taxpayers had mistakenly filed their returns with the FBR and the matter had been taken up with the FBR as well as the taxpayers.The official said that last year Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was given Rs4.1 billion share in the sales tax on services while the province’s collections on September 19 (Thursday) stood at Rs4.94 billion and it is going to exceed its target of Rs6 billion in the current financial year.

The secretary for Excise and Taxation said that major taxpayers in the province were telecom, banking insurance sectors while others doing business in the province and having headquarters in other provinces would also be brought into the sales tax on services net.

Raheel Siddiqui said an agreement was concluded with the Department for International Development (DFID) for baseline survey, which will be carried out in the next six months to identify more potential taxpayers in the province.

Jamsheduddin Kakakhel, while responding to the reporters’ questions, said the Excise Department was being purged of corruption and all shoulder promotions withdrawn and no official was allowed to work on higher position than his rank.

He said the government would show zero-tolerance to the tax evaders and those resorting to corrupt practices in the department.The adviser said the case of those recruited through unfair means were being reviewed and action would be taken in this regard on merit and as per rules.

He admitted before the take-over of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-led coalition government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, corruption was rampant in Excise Department, but the PTI government had then brought honest people up to run its affairs in transparent manner.

“It is hard to claim that the department has completely been purged of corrupt elements, but we are striving to make it efficiently facilitate excise and tax collection in the province,” he said.Director General Excise and Taxation Javed Marwat was among those present on the occasion.