LAHORE: The Punjab cabinet has decided to present a tax-free budget for the next financial year while area of tax net will be widened, exemption on 5-marla houses in posh localities will be withdrawn and property tax on big houses will be raised by 50 per cent.Sources said registration and token fee on vehicles above 1000CC would also be raised.The meeting of the Punjab cabinet was held here at Chief Minister Secretariat under the chairmanship of Shahbaz Sharif which reviewed the budgetary proposals for the next year.The chief minister directed that the budget must be people-friendly and maximum relief should be provided to the poor people. In order to widen the tax net, Lahore city will be divided into four categories to ensure recovery of tax. The sources said the cabinet recommended increase in allocation for livestock and agriculture sector. They said a special package would be announced in the budget for Southern Punjab districts where demand for a separate Saraiki province was gaining momentum.The CM also directed the chief secretary to make the vigilance committees more effective and viable to bring an end to the menace of forced labour. The cabinet gave approval of five laws relating to devolution of agriculture, labour and manpower ministries from the federal to the provincial government under the 18th amendment.OUR STAFF REPORTER ADDS: The Punjab cabinet has given approval to six amendment bills of agriculture and labour departments with regard to the ministries devolved to the provinces in the wake of the 18th constitutional amendment.A meeting of the Punjab cabinet was held under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif at Civil Secretariat here on Tuesday.
The cabinet meeting besides giving approval to the website of Daanish Schools also formed a cabinet committee for the promotion of e-government, which will submit its recommendations to the cabinet for better service delivery to the masses.
The amendment bills include Punjab Agricultural Pesticides Ordinance, 1971 (Amended up to 1997), the West Pakistan Industrial and Commercial Employment (standing Orders) Ordinance, 1968, the West Pakistan Maternity Benefit Ordinance, 1958, the Workers Children (Education) Ordinance, 1972, the Workmen’s Compensation Act, 1923 and the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1992.Addressing the meeting, the CM said the promotion of good governance and better service delivery to the masses was the priority of the government and revolutionary measures were being taken for this purpose. He also said promotion of e-government would not only eliminate corruption and malpractices, but would also result in capacity-building of departments, which would help provide better services to the people. “Setting up of citizen contact centres and citizen feedback model is an excellent programme, and it should be moved forward in a coordinated manner for facilitating the people in availing services of the government and benefiting from its welfare oriented programmes in the real sense,” he mentioned, adding this programme should be given wide publicity for promoting public awareness. He also revealed that a cabinet committee was being formed for furthering this programme successfully and it would submit its recommendations in the cabinet meeting keeping in view its various aspects. – Nation