LAHORE – Differences among Punjab Assembly members emerged on Wednesday over levying of Agriculture Tax when a treasury member termed the tax against the basic spirit of the Constitution. PA Speaker Rana Iqbal concluded the arguments by suggesting the house to introduce a private bill for legislation in this regard.
As per details, during the question hour, a treasury member Malik Muahammad Ahmed from Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) challenged the legal position of Agriculture Tax in the province.
“Levying a tax is the prerogative of the government but Agriculture Tax is not in line with the Tax Ordinance and the Constitution,” said Malik. Perplexed over the claim, the PA speaker suggested Malik to table an adjournment motion in this regard so that a detail discussion could be done on the topic.
However, referring to the assembly rules on a point of order, Malik said that on any issue upon which legislation could be done, no adjournment motion could be presented. Upon this, the speaker suggested him to table a bill on the issue during the opposition members’ proceedings.
Earlier, when the PA session started with a delay of one hour and 40 minutes, Revenue Minister Bilal Yasin, responding to a query of Mian Naseer Ahmed about Agriculture Tax, told the house that the tax was levied once a year and was applied only on the fruit gardens whereas nurseries and forests did not fall in the category. He further said that the tax was land-based and only applied to those who owned more than 12 acres of agriculture land. He said that in this head of account, during the last fiscal year, Rs 758 million were earned as revenues.
THE CASE OF THE UNHAPPY OPPOSITION: The PA’s united opposition on Wednesday ended their boycott of the proceedings which started on Tuesday. The opposition, led by PTI’s Mehmoodur Rashid, had boycotted the proceedings when they were not allowed to present a resolution against drone attacks.
The opposition agreed to take part in the proceedings with a condition that a resolution against the US drone strikes would be adopted unanimously. The opposition ended their boycott after an assurance by the government to settle the issue amicably. Talking to the newsmen, Rashid said they had ended their boycott on an assurance of taking up the resolution against drone attacks.
Courtesy Pakistan Today