RCB increases professional tax by 100pc

RAWALPINDI: The Rawalpindi Cantonment Board (RCB) on Thursday increased the professional tax by 100pc. The decision was taken at a meeting of the board chaired by Station Commander Brigadier Shahzad Tanveer. RCB Vice President Malik Munir, Cantonment Executive Officer Sabtain Raza and all elected members belonging to the PML-N were present. The RCB added booksellers, mobile phone shops, courier service offices, hotels, catering services, marble shops and departmental stores to the list of professional taxpayers. The new rate of the tax will be implemented immediately. The elected members of the RCB did not oppose the administration’s proposal to increase the tax and approved it. RCB spokesman Qaisar Mehmood said the professional tax was revised after two decades as the last increase was made in 1998. “During the last 20 years, new trades have been introduced such as mobile phone shops, marble shops etc,” he said. He said the list of professions was also revised and hotels, restaurants and catering services were added to the list. He said the issue of levying professional tax on traders was solved with the Excise and Taxation Department. “The Punjab taxation department wanted to collect the professional tax from traders and shopkeepers in the cantonment areas which fall in the limits of the federal government. Later, the federal government stopped the provincial department from collecting the tax in the cantonment areas and assigned the task to the RCB,” he said. On the other hand, traders and shopkeepers in Saddar, the main commercial hub of the cantonment, objected to the increase in the professional tax. “We have called a meeting of our association to chalk out a strategy to counter the unjustified increase in the professional tax,” said Cantonment Traders Association General Secretary Zafar Qadri. The cantonment board also decided to start development works after the July 25 elections. However, an immediate cleanliness of nullahs has been ordered as there are chances of flooding during the monsoon season. The board also approved 210 residential and 17 commercial building plans. Published in Dawn, July 6th, 2018

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