Caretaker Punjab Cabinet Rejects Proposal To Tax Small Farmers, Abolishes Duty On IT Businesses

Caretaker Punjab Cabinet Rejects Proposal To Tax Small Farmers, Abolishes Duty On IT Businesses
The caretaker provincial government on Thursday rejected a proposal to tax small farmers who owned five acres of land. Further, amendments were approved to abolish all taxes and duties on information technology businesses, education and training services.

This was decided during a meeting of the Punjab caretaker cabinet in the Walled City on Thursday. The meeting was chaired by Caretaker Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi.

During the meeting, a proposal to impose agricultural income tax on farmers owning of 5-acres of land was rejected.

Additionally, the cabinet decided to maintain the rate of stamp duty rate at one percent, Amendments to the First Schedule of the Stamp Act 1899, were approved.

Amendments to the Sales Tax on Services Act, 2012, were also approved. The amendments would abolish all taxes and duties on IT business, education, and training in Punjab.

With Punjab's cars being registered in Islamabad, the provincial caretaker cabinet approved a proposal to lower the vehicle registration fees by one percent. As a result of this move, the fees to register vehicles ranging from 1,500cc to 2,000cc will now cost the same in Punjab as it does in Islamabad.

Restoring Punjab's History

Given that the meeting was being held in the Walled City, the director general of the Walled City of Lahore Authority (WCLA) briefed the interim cabinet on the restoration works underway.

The provincial caretaker cabinet decided to restore historical buildings and ancient gates across Punjab, including Lahore.

This project will include the restoration of the 12 ancient gates of the Walled City of Lahore. The WCLA chief was assigned the task.

Health care improvements

The caretaker cabinet also approved a project to renew agreements regarding new issues and the scope of the Punjab Health Facilities Management Company.

Various matters related to the Universal Health Insurance Program in Punjab were also approved.

Permission was granted to activate the Maj Gen Sheikh Al Mur bin Maktoum bin Juma Al Maktoum Gynae Hospital in the Gulab Wala area of 18 Hazari tehsil of Jhang.

The caretaker cabinet also approved to implement grants for the hospital, including them in the annual development program.
Additionally, the establishment of a council for the rights of persons with disabilities (PWDs) was approved.

Furthermore, the cabinet extended the contracts for employees of the Hepatitis and Infection Control Program. Contracts of employees of the provincial Tuberculosis Control Program were also extended.

The caretaker provincial cabinet also extended the contracts of 605 employees of the Literacy & Non-Formal Basic Education Directorate General.


The caretaker cabinet approved the revision of royalty rates for limestone and argillaceous clay in large-scale mining operations.

During the meeting, it was disclosed that the Mines & Minerals Department had collected approximately Rs14 billion in taxes during the outgoing fiscal year, surpassing its fiscal target of Rs12 billion.

Lowering transport subsidies

To reduce subsidies given in the transport department, a non-fare revenue generation model has been approved by the provincial caretaker cabinet.

This model will facilitate commercial activities at the Metro Bus and Orange Line train stations.

Mayo Hospital Visit

On Thursday, Caretaker Chief Minister Naqvi visited the Mayo Hospital in Lahore. He observed working conditions and patient care at the emergency Dialysis Unit, Medical Ward, Out-patient Department (OPD), Surgical Outdoor, East Medical Ward and Balqees Sarwar Intensive Care Unit (ICU), ECG Room, Cardiology ICU, Pharmacy, Indoor Medical and other high patient influx areas of the hospital.

He expressed his displeasure at the lack of adequate cleanliness arrangements in the wards. He also noted the poor provision of services, including shut air conditioners in different wards despite the intense heat and washrooms, which were either out of order or had taps missing.

Naqvi said that the condition of Mayo Hospital is not at all appropriate. He added that, undoubtedly, the faculty of Mayo Hospital was up to the mark, but there was a dire need for improvement.

Naqvi reprimanded the Medical Superintendent and the hospital administration for their mismanagement. He expressed the desire the bring the quality of services and facilities at the Mayo Hospital on par with the Aga Khan Hospital in Karachi.

Directions were also issued to redress complaints of patients present.

He announced upgrading the Mayo Hospital into a modern facility and set a four-month timeline.

He noted that the project would be completed in two phases and sought an improvement plan for the hospital within a week.

"We are not making a new hospital but are improving the condition of old hospitals [of Lahore]," he remarked. "The number of beds is also being increased for the treatment of children in the Children's Hospital, and the latest equipment is being procured."

Apart from improving the overall management of the hospital, Naqvi called for improving the reading room and cafeteria.

Naqvi announced to rename the children's block at the hospital as the Mayo Children's Hospital.

It was principally decided to establish a cardiac block at the hospital, which is equipped with the latest facilities. It was decided to upgrade the Emergency Ward apart from relocating it to a new location.

Further, it was decided to dedicate a ward at the hospital to the late Dr Faisal Masood.

Caretaker CM Mohsin Naqvi was given a detailed briefing in the committee room of King Edward Medical College.

The MS of seven hospitals affiliated with KE University, the Dean and CEO, attended the briefing. Punjab Minister for Specialized Healthcare and Medical Education Dr Javed Akram, secretaries of health and C&W, King Edward Medical University's Vice Chancellor, Mayo Hospital Chief Executive Officer, Medical Superintendents of Lady Atchison Hospital, Lady Willingdon Hospital, Mayo Hospital, Munshi Hospital, Kot Khawaja Saeed Hospital and concerned officials were also present.

In reply to a question, Naqvi disclosed that a few sections of the Lady Willingdon Hospital had been declared as dangerous.
"We are making alternate arrangements, and I have directed the C&W Secretary to undertake steps for construction and repair of the hospital forthwith."

He also allowed female students living in the King Edward Medical College hostel to install air conditioners by paying for them.

Naqvi refutes rumours of IG Usman Anwar's transfer

Punjab Caretaker Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi has categorically dismissed rumours that the Inspector General of Punjab Police Dr Usman Anwar will be transferred imminently.

He emphatically stated that speculations surrounding IG Anwar's transfer are baseless, as he has been performing his responsibilities with utmost excellence and that he enjoys his full support.