Centre has duped provinces on sales tax: MQM


Members of the Sindh Assembly (SA) were taken aback when MQM’s parliamentary leader, Syed Sardar Ahmed, informed the house that the Federal government has kept the collection of sales tax on services with it, despite having declared it as a provincial subject in the 7th NFC Award and 18th Constitutional Amendment. Speaking on a point of order, he said that the Federal government still mentioned sales tax on services as a Federal tax in the Finance Bill presented in the National Assembly during its budget session. Ahmed’s concern came a day after the SA passed the Sales Tax on Services Bill-2011, enabling the provincial government to collect the tax on services from July 1.
Speaker Nisar Ahmed Khuhro, in an attempt to play down the issue, argued that the Federal government might have mentioned the tax in its Finance Bill on the basis of its announcement that “whosoever collects the sales tax at its own.” Otherwise, he added, there is no matter of concern, and the sales tax on services is now with the provinces.Earlier the PML-F’s lawmakers, Nusrat Saher Abbasi and Marvi Rashdi expressed their concern over incomplete work on damaged dykes, given how the rain season is around the corner. Sindh Law Minister Ayaz Soomro said that 90 percent repair work on dykes has been completed, and the rest continuing on a war-footing basis. He said that the government can arrange a briefing to inform lawmakers about progress on dykes.
Earlier, replying to an enquiry during the question hour, Sindh Food Minister Nadir Magsi said that some 100,000 bags of wheat had to be destroyed during the past year due to improper storage arrangement. He said that the Food Department has storage capacity of 650,000 tones and it was working to increase this facility.