Balochistan to provide Rs1.5 billion tax relief amidlockdown

QUETTA: Provincial Finance Minister Zahoor Buledi on Wednesday announced that the Balochistan government has decided to give a tax relief of Rs 1.5 billion amid lockdown due to coronavirus. Announcing the decisions, the finance minister said that key decisions were made during the Tuesday’s cabinet meeting including giving exemptions on sales tax on services, and infrastructure cess. “It is also decided to lower the duty on purchase of surgical equipment,” he said adding that one percent exemption was also approved for Quetta Electric Supply Company (QESCO) bills. We have already released Rs 760 million in terms of ration to be distributed in the provincial districts, he said. The minister said that there were 70 cases of local coronavirus transmission in the province and they were in process to establish 11 more laboratories to expedite testing process. He said that they have also asked the federal government to increase their quota in Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) by four percent, bringing it to 12 percent. He said that they had addressed the genuine concerns raised by doctors and paramedical staff in the province. It is pertinent to mention here that the provincial cabinet approved tax exemptions for various sectors aimed at improving economic activity in the province during the time of pandemic on April 06. According to details, the provincial authorities announced exemption of sales tax on construction sector until 30 June along with exemption of sales tax on services charged for transport and hotel sectors. The cabinet also approved suspension of infrastructure and development cess, electric duty and motor vehicle tax. It also suspended the notification for increasing royalty rent fees on production.